Jacks basketball taking steps to improve

Published 9:49 am Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bogalusa’s boys’ basketball team spent the month of June on the court, as they continued to make preparations for the 2014-15 season.

The Lumberjacks attended several camps, which included clinics at LSU-Alexandria, Southeastern Louisiana University, Archbishop Hannan’s junior varsity camp and the Lumberjacks hosted one of their own.

Bogalusa played in 15 games total throughout and went 8-7 this season.

The Jacks had a very young team last season, which featured just two seniors and the team struggled in the win-loss record, going 1-21 overall and 1-9 in district.

When a team is that young, it gives the younger players opportunities to step up and showcase their talents.

Bogalusa coach Byron Garner said the main thing they tried to get the team to understand are the characteristics of a champion.

“When you’re coming off of a 1-21 season, you have to realize that you’re not a 1-21 person,” Garner said. “We stressed the little things like being on time for class and practice, looking professional, what an athlete should look like in public and things specific like having a haircut.”

Garner said the team took baby steps towards being professional this summer.

“I saw guys checking each other to see if their hair was cut,” Garner said.

When we went places we had professional etiquette. We enjoyed sportsmanship before, during and after games. We displayed good character all around.”

Garner said another thing that was important was team chemistry.

“We have kids that are dual sport and tri-sport athletes and one of the things that’s hard to get kids to understand is team chemistry,” Garner said. “You can be 6-6, but if the point guard can’t get you the ball, you can’t score. They need to play with each other in order to get used to each other’s tendencies.”

One of the things that hurt the Lumberjacks last season was turnovers, which Garner said they did pretty well with those.

“We’ve only three seniors and only one is a full-time player,” Garner said. “Most of our turnovers came when teams pressed us.”

Garner said the team did great.

“I wouldn’t say there any surprises,” Garner said. “DeSean Crumedy was the Most Valuable Player anchoring the defense, rebounds and second-chance baskets. LaQuenton Jefferson and Ronald McMorris are the two starting point guards. They set the tempo for every victory.”

Garner added that Laster Hills and Eric Williams led the team in 3-pointers.

Garner also said he’s excited about Stradford Goins, who is joining the BHS coaching staff as an assistant.