Seek­ing an­other league ti­tle

Young SMCA boys hoops squad look­ing to win, get healthy

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

Even with a win un­der his belt in the team’s sea­son opener Dec. 1, South­ern Mary­land Chris­tian Acad­emy third-year head boys bas­ket­ball coach An­thony Jones ad­mit­ted be­ing cau­tiously op­ti­mistic about the early por­tion of the sched­ule.

South­ern Mary­land Chris­tian (1-0 over­all) — which was slated to face lo­cal Metro In­de­pen­dent Schools Ath­letic League ri­val King’s Chris­tian Acad­emy from St. Mary’s County on Thurs­day evening and re­turns to ac­tion with a sched­uled 6 p.m. home con­test ver­sus Lan­ham Chris­tian of Prince Ge­orge’s County — is cur­rently re­ly­ing heav­ily on se­nior Josh Parker while ju­nior point guard Adrian Jones and ju­nior John Stokes and De­lani Schutz­mann all re­cover from mi­nor in­juries. Jones played in the opener be­fore get- ting hurt in prac­tice the next day.

“We’re young this year and we’re not healthy now, so we don’t have a lot of depth,” said Jones, whose team opened the sea­son Dec. 1 with an 82-65 vic­tory over Wood­stream Chris­tian Acad­emy of Prince Ge­orge’s County. “Adrian is our point guard and he’s out with a chin in­jury, John hurt his knee and De­lani is out with a hand in­jury. We’re young and small, so our de­fense will have to carry us.”

With Jones, Schutz­mann and Stokes all side­lined tem­po­rar­ily, South­ern Mary­land Chris­tian has al­ready shifted its scor­ing and re­bound­ing in­flu­ence to Parker with Zach McDonough, Ricky Crooks, Ger­ald Plum­mer and fresh­man Tre Dou­glas look­ing to help fill the void. Dou­glas had pre­vi­ously played un­der Jones when he was the South­ern Mary­land Chris­tian mid­dle school boys bas­ket­ball coach.

“Tre’s small, but he keeps get­ting bet­ter with ev­ery prac­tice and ev­ery game,” Jones said. “He re­ally pro­vides a spark for us on both ends of the floor. He’s only a fresh­man, but he’s a smart player. He hus­tles and he re­ally un­der­stands the game. He was the same type of player when he played for our mid­dle

school team, but he’s made the ad­just­ment to var­sity quickly and he can shoot.”

Dou­glas is one of the Mus­tangs’ quicker, smaller play­ers who will be asked to play a va­ri­ety of roles and get am­ple floor time while three other pro­jected starters all re­cover. Jones ad­mits the open­ing stretch of league games, be­gin­ning with Thurs­day’s con­test against King’s Chris- tian, will test his team’s

re­solve in lieu of their youth, size and lack of depth.

“We re­ally don’t want to open the league sched­ule 0-4,” Jones said. “But we play some tough teams right from the out­set and we’re young and we’re small and we don’t have a bench right now. If we’re go­ing to win games early in the sea­son, it will be with our quick­ness and our de­fense. The longterm goal is to be healthy for Jan­uary and then

make our play­off push then.”

For the sec­ond straight win­ter, boys bas­ket­ball will be the only sport at South­ern Mary­land Chris­tian. Last sea­son, the South­ern Mary­land Chris­tian boys team was 23-8 over­all and 8-4 in MISAL play, which in­cluded tak­ing the league tour­na­ment ti­tle Feb. 20.

Adrian Jones, the head coach’s son, hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to give South­ern Mary-

land Chris­tian its first ti­tle in school his­tory, 56-55, over The Avalon School of Mont­gomery County.

PHOTO BY JENNY GAINES

South­ern Mary­land Chris­tian Acad­emy cen­ter Zach McDonough boxes out for a re­bound in the Mus­tangs’ sea­son opener against Wood­stream on Dec. 1. McDonough and his team­mates pre­vailed 82-65.

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