Anthony Brown ’12
The Men’s Varsity Basketball team played great all-around in their win against O’Connell on Tuesday, January 10. Before the game, Coach Martin Keithline gave his thoughts on the team’s 8-8 start with half the season done saying, “Right now, we’re 8-8 for a reason. We play well in some games and don’t play so well in other games and that’s why we’re 50-50 right now.” He did say however that the team shoots the ball well and is able to hit a lot of threes and in other games they’re able to have some good ball pressure, get out in the open court and get some fast break points. The game plan was to stop dribble penetration, stop one of O’Connell’s best shooters, sophomore Melo Trimble, and to rebound more because O’Connells size.
The Mustangs came out strong with Juniors Stephan Jiggetts, Wayne Johnson, and Jerron Martin scoring the bulk of the Mustangs points in the first quarter and the three-ball helped them build a lead as well. By the end of the first, the Mustangs had a four point lead with a score of 19-15. The Mustangs lead grew to 10 halfway through the second quarter and defense was a key factor in helping them keep the lead the entire game and also helped them get fast break points. Kelsey Jenkins ‘12, Jerron Martin ‘13 and Justin Ramey ‘13 were key factors in increasing the Mustangs’ lead and Stephan Jiggetts ‘13 continued his impressive play scoring 8 of the 19 points the Mustangs had in the quarter. The Mustangs had a 12 point lead at halftime with a score of 41-29.
O’Connell came back in the third, cutting the Mustangs’ lead to 7 but the Mustangs defense held strong created plenty of opportunities for fast break points and some shots at the free throw line. The Mustangs had a 50-42 lead at the end of the third.
The Mustangs closed the game out with tough defense and aggressiveness on offense getting to the foul line. The final score was 74-67.
After the game, Coach Keithline expressed that defense, rebounding and the three-point shot were key for the Mustangs. He felt they did a great job of making their rotations and getting in the passing lanes so they could get steals and layups at the other end and he thought rebounding was a huge bonus and rebounding on the defensive side was big in the second half. The three-point shot he felt was good as well because players like Kelsey Jenkins, Stephan Jiggetts and others made some of those to help the Mustangs boost their lead.
The high-point man for the Mustangs was Jiggetts with 25 points. Wayne Johnson had a double-double 14 points, 10 rebounds and added a few blocks to his stat sheet. Justin Ramey had 11 points and Kelsey Jenkins had 10. The Mustangs have won two in a row and look to make it three in a row against Ireton on Friday January 13.