Joppatowne Boys Basketball Enjoying 3-0 Start
For a team that is used to winning, the Joppatowne boys basketball team has entered this season with plenty of motivation.
The Mariners were in the midst of a sensational season last year, enjoying an 18-3 regular season mark and splitting the county championship with eventual MPSSAA 3A state champion, C. Milton Wright. The team's success wasn't shocking- Joppatowne has reached three MPSSAA regional finals in recent years, which includes a regional title in 2015.
Last year in the first round of the 1A state playoffs, Joppatowne faced Patterson Mill, a team it had beaten both times the teams squared off by a combined score of 111-83. The Huskies were able to reverse the regular season results though, topping Joppatowne 51-45 in overtime to end the Mariners' year. The result still stings for Joppatowne.
"Definitely motivation towards this season," Joppatowne head coach Jermaine Head said when asked about it. "Trying to beat a team three times is difficult, and being the first seed three to four years in a row is difficult as well."
With the added motivation from last season's conclusion, the Mariners have jumped out to a fast start this season.
Joppatowne is 3-0, picking up wins against Fallston, Bel Air and Kenwood by a combined score of 210-163. Although it's early and there's still plenty of work to be done, Head is happy with how the team has looked thus far.
"We are just getting to know each other as a team with added pieces and the youth we have, led by Montrell Horsey and newcomer Jalen Willis. We look to them for added leadership," Head said. "The performance so far is very pleasing. We are jelling and getting contributions from our bench, which is an added bonus."
Indeed the backcourt combination of Horsey and Willis looks like it could be a potent combination for opponents to contend with this season.
Horsey, a junior shooting guard, is coming off a sophomore campaign that saw him get a first team all-county selection while Willis, a sophomore combo guard, is averaging a double-double so far. The duo has been joined by senior Jordan Meads, who has emerged as a go to player so far this season.
The Mariners have many big games on their schedule, with the first one coming up on Dec. 21 against C. Milton Wright. After that, the group expects to receive stern tests from other top Harford County programs like Edgewood and Aberdeen.
It'll be a tough season for Joppatowne, but the team expects to maintain its high level of success. To Head, the expectations the program has developed being a 1A school in a county filled with bigger schools is an accomplishment in itself. His hope is that success takes another step this season.
"Our goal as always is states," Head said. "We've been to three regional finals, winning only one. So that never changes."
|December 13th, 2016||By: Wick Eisenberg|