By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Tigers gearing up for basketball
He’s back! Jarvis Wadsworth (50) is one of the three returning seniors for the Tiger basketball team. Head coach David Jones considers him one of the premiere leaders of the Tiger squad. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon
As football begins to wind down, the attention now turns to high school basketball.
Tigers’ men’s head coach David Jones reflects on last season in anticipation of what the new one may bring for his squad.
“Our record last season was 13-13,” he said. “But we are extremely excited about the upcoming season. I guess if you ever get to the point where you’re not excited about the season, it’s time to move on. But I’m excited about it.”
The men and women’s basketball got an early start with a pre-season scrimmage Tuesday in Statesboro. The regular season starts Nov. 27, with a home opener against Tattnall County. A game Coach Jones admits he is a little nervous about.
“We open up against Tattnall, who literally embarrassed and destroyed us last year,” he said. They are well coached and they play hard. As bad and as easy as they beat us last year, there is no reason for them to think that they can’t do the same thing to us this year.”
Jones said every game they play this year would be tough. He noted that in regards to basketball, the Tigers are in one of the toughest regions in the state.
“We don’t have an easy game this season. Once again, we are limited in size so we will need to limit our mistakes, play solid defense, play pressure defense to the goal and be selective in our shots. If we can keep these things in mind, we can have a good year,” he said.
It’s hard to think of not having size when you describe young men standing 6’1” to 6’2” but coach Jones said most of the powerhouse basketball teams in the region have players who are easily 6’5” to 6’7.”
“Savannah High, Beach, Johnson, Jenkins and Groves have some of the top programs in the state when it comes to basketball,” Jones said. “Jenkins was an inch away last year and Groves went to state. They have some kids that are juniors that are 6’5” and above, so we know we have to play smart to overcome some of the size issues.”
The Tigers have three players who are returning as seniors - Robert Sims, Daniel Materney and Jarvis Wadsworth. They also have Brandon Hayes who will return to play his senior year as a Tiger now that his family moved back to Hinesville from Chicago.
“We have some younger players who are moving up from the junior varsity squad, like Tony Costin and DeAndre Ross,” Jones said. “These two kids took to the weight room during the off season and they took the work out to a higher level. They will probably be in our top eight.
“We brought in Joseph Palmer. Derrick Nesbitt will help us out and Manuel Crum will come back once football is over. But our biggest surprise came from the baseball field in a young man named Cantrell Hardgrove. He will also likely be in our top eight. Of course, we will be expecting a lot from Wadsworth and Sims as they are probably two of our premiere leaders.
“We are lucky this year we have a few kids who play wide open with reckless abandonment that comes from within, they are driven by the game. That is something you just can’t teach. It has to come from your heart,” Nesbitt said.
Sign up for our e-newsletters