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Jaguars overcome early adversity
by Ericka Birdsong
ebirdsong@neighbornewspapers.com
January 15, 2013 04:28 PM | 1739 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
New Manchester High player Keymont Jenkins, a senior ‘guard forward’ practices his jump shot during a recent practice.
New Manchester High player Keymont Jenkins, a senior ‘guard forward’ practices his jump shot during a recent practice.
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Despite losing players and battling inconsistency, the New Manchester boys’ basketball team was 8-7 last week and was finding the confidence they need to compete for a region title.

“We’re getting better. We lost some early games that we shouldn’t have. Inconsistency has been a problem and we’ve had to battle some adversity with the loss of some of the kids that were with us. It’s just taking a little longer to overcome,” said head coach David Cottrell.

Even with the troubles, the Jaguars are having a winning season as they prepare to play South Paulding.

At this point of the season, teams play a tough region schedule and New Manchester is no exception as they face each of their four sub-region competitors twice in less than a month.

“We have a tough January with region games and tough opponents, but I feel confident going into the region part of the schedule,” Cottrell said.

Right now the Jaguars have two top scorers — Joe Boyer and Keymont Jenkins.

Boyer is a junior “guard forward” standing 6-foot-3 and averaging 14 points a night. Defensively Boyer averages 9.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.

He is described by Cottrell as an extremely hard player, a tough competitor, and a versatile player who can play anywhere.

“He’s our best player overall. He scores and defends,” said Cottrell.

Jenkins is a senior “guard forward” standing 6-foot-4 and averaging 18 points a night. Cottrell said Jenkins is a team leader, but he got off to a slow start before finding his groove.

“He can score. He always finds ways to get us buckets,” said Cottrell.

On the defensive end, the top two players include Boyer and sophomore Tyler Edwards.

Edwards is a 6-foot-1 shooting guard that Cottrell said has “tremendous work ethic” and is always matched against the other team’s top player.

One strength for the Jaguars, according to Cottrell, is the length they possess. With a 14-man roster, there are only four players under 6-foot and the tallest is 6-foot-8.

“We’ve definitely got length; it’s one of our strengths and helps us defensively. Some teams are comparable in height in our region, but we’re one of the longest,” said Cottrell.
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