Jefferson has few veterans to face Bulldogs and Eagles
Bob Madison For the Chronicle
Among the 13 players listed on Jefferson’s varsity basketball roster, only senior Scooter Gaskins has much experience.
While there are some players who were on the varsity team in 2016-17, only Gaskins was a starter.
Moving ahead from the JV team is guard Taylor Tennant; another guard, Sequoia Garrard, was on last year’s varsity team, which was eliminated in the Sectional tournament.
Bobby Gianning saw little court time with the varsity team as a junior.
Other front court players this year include Justin Hall, Julian Hough, Michael Slagle, George Atkinson and Alex Sanez.
Jon Catrow, Vlad Cuvica, Jaylen Lindsay and Khalil Brown could distinguish themselves early and become starters in the backcourt or as swing players.
As usual, Martinsburg is the considered favorite among the local teams, with Hedgesville, which has missed qualifying for the Regional tournament the last two seasons, possibly moving ahead of Musselman as a team to watch. Spring Mills, Hampshire and Washington are the other three schools comprising the area Sectional.
Jefferson’s schedule is top-heavy with home games in December and early January. The Cougars are slated to be at home for 12 of their first 13 games, including two tournaments that bring in private schools.
The Cougars lost more than they won in both 2016 and 2017.
Silver Oak Academy (Keymar, Maryland) is to be played twice; Central High (Woodstock,Virginia) is new to the schedule. The St. John’s Saints of Front Royal are in one tournament, with Dohn Academy from Cincinnati in another. James Wood is the lone public school in either tournament.
Highland View Academy, just outside Hagerstown, is on the schedule, as is Millbrook, which will be played on the road.
How will the Cougars fare against the area’s Class AAA teams? Can they compete with Martinsburg and Hedgesville?
Is there a winning record against the same-size public schools in the cards?
Gaskins will need help. Tennant will probably be an effective scorer.
Should some help be found among the early-season reserves, the Cougars might gain enough experience during their predominantly home schedule to surprise somebody in late January or February.