Friday, December 21, 2012

(Holiday) Tournament Time: Laney's Special Freshmen

It takes a special program to graduate virtually every impact player from a state championship season and immediately establish itself as an outstanding team at the beginning of the following season.  But Coach Jerry Hunter's program is special.  And we expect the Wildcats to continue to progress in the weeks, months, and years to come.

Signs of this progression, and evidence that our optimism is warranted, came Thursday in Laney's narrow 72-70 loss to the defending 6A (Alabama) state runner up, Lee High School.  Trailing by 15 points in the fourth quarter and playing without senior Quinton Hall, freshmen Zep Jasper and Christian Keeling led a furious Wildcat comeback that fell just short.  The Wildcats' challenging schedule and the staff's trust in the team's young and talented freshmen and sophomores will yield positive results during region play and in the years to come.

We have focused often on the long, athletic, and highly skilled sophomore wildcat trio of Jashawn Brooks, Jaylen Taylor, and Javon Walker.  We knew it would be sooner rather than later that we would see Jasper and Keeling make big impacts.  The absence of Hall, the trust of the coaching staff, and the preparedness of the duo almost combined to produce a heroic comeback Thursday.  See the two youngsters in action in the video above.  And stay tuned for highlights and updates of today's 2 P.M. match up with Charlotte's North Mecklenburg.

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