Seeking another league title
Young SMCA boys hoops squad looking to win, get healthy
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.
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.