Lackey Boys Basketball Program is on the Rise
The Lackey boys basketball team has turned into one of the teams to watch in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference.
The Chargers have enjoyed a magnificent first half of the season, compiling a 12-2 mark. For head coach Sean Fox, it's a continuation on an encouraging campaign last season. A young Chargers team finished that season 14-10, and reached the second round of the MPSSAA state playoffs for the first time in several years.
"This year our team has six seniors and four juniors, with only one underclassman on the team," Fox said. "We return three starters from last year's team with a senior transfer, so experience has been an asset for us this season."
The play of Lackey's starting guards has also been a major asset for the team this year.
Seniors Hakeem Everett and Vincent Parker have done an excellent job of marshaling the team on both ends of the floor, and also lead the group in scoring. Everett is averaging 17 points per game while Parker is at 12. The duo has been particularly lethal from behind the three point line, where the two have combined to hit 54 shots over the course of the season.
Fellow senior guards Dishon Blake and Destin Ingram have been playing at a high level. Blake has thrived at facilitating the basketball and getting everyone on the court involved, while Ingram's presence at the four position has allowed Lackey to stretch the floor, creating a match up nightmare for opponents.
"We are not the biggest team but look to attack in transition and space the floor in the half court to create drive and kick opportunities for our shooters," Fox said. "Our guards have done a great job on both ends of the floor, and have put a lot of pressure on our opponents."
The team's starting unit is rounded out by junior forward James Wilkerson, who Fox commended for being an excellent rebounder both on offense and defense. Off the bench, senior forward Pierce McLendon and sophomore point guard Rasheed Cooley have excelled at bringing energy to the floor.
The chemistry of the unit as a whole has led to to Lackey being a difficult team for opponents to handle. Lackey has enjoyed a lot of winning so far, but its victories against traditional SMAC powers Huntingtown and Westlake have been particularly exciting.
"Huntingtown is the defending 3A South regional champions, and really let the guys know we had a good shot at being competitive," Fox said. "The Westlake win even though they were missing key players was huge for us because they have been so successful in 2A for several years. It was great to beat a team we had not beaten in nearly six years."
Lackey's schedule doesn't let up either. After facing McDonough today, the Chargers square off with Thomas Stone, which Lackey beat by just one point earlier this month. After Thomas Stone Lackey faces North Point, one of the two teams to top the Chargers this year.
The tough stretch of games should provide stern tests for the Chargers, who Fox is hoping can compete for a SMAC Championship, as well as a make a run in the 2A South region of the MPSSAA state playoffs. Despite the high expectations, Fox doesn't want his team look beyond the next game on the schedule.
"Every game at this point in the season is magnified, especially against teams on our side of the conference. We expect each game to be challenging, which is exciting for our guys who go out and compete," Fox said. "We have just stuck to the idea that our next game is always the most important, and that has proven thus far to really help our focus."
|January 25th, 2017||By: Wick Eisenberg|