The Jonesboro boys haven’t put up eye-popping numbers. The Cardinals, who are 18-4 overall, have exceeded 70 points in just four of their 22 games, and just one Jonesboro player, Patrick Petty, averages in double-figure scoring.
Two of the Cardinals’ losses were in overtime and the other two were by a combined 12 points.
What they do well is play defense, spread the wealth of points and share the spotlight.
They’ve held 13 opponents to less than 50 points and only three foes have managed 70, thanks in part to post player Chkedubem Okeke, who averages 3.3 blocks and 6.8 rebounds per game.
Petty has a season high of 26 points (that was against Upson-Lee) and he has scored 20 points two other times, which may not seem like much, but with Jonesboro’s measured tempo, one player with 20 can be a big advantage.
Two other Cardinals have topped 20, and another pair of players on the team appears capable of a 20-point night.
Deantre Mack, who averages 7 points per game, has scored 20 points twice, including a season high of 21 against Spalding. Casey Wells, who averages 7.9 ppg, has a season high of 22 (also against Spalding) and has one other 22-point game.
Chukedubem Okeke and Cameron Sutton each has scored 18 points in a game.
Petty and Sutton were mainstays on the Jonesboro football team that finished 9-2.
Future in the present: Butler sophomore Deontaye Coleman’ts 35-point effort to take down previously unbeaten Glenn Hills last week could be the best single-game performance this year by a 9th or 10th-grader. There are a number of freshman and sophomores around the state having an impact, though.
Here are a couple more:
South Effingham freshman Shandrea Leverett may hold the key to the Lady Mustangs’ success in the playoffs. The 6-2 center is averaging 9.5 points , 1.8 blocks and 8.2 rebounds. and is already getting looks from major-college programs, according to South Effingham coach Stacey Womack. Her inside presence should prove beneficial in tougher competition that forces more half-court play.
Perry sophomore K.J. Smith is averaging 18.9 points per game, keying the Panthers’ solid 14-7 season to this point. Smith has had numerous 20-point games, with a season-high of 33 against First Presbyterian and 28-point nights against West Laurens and Howard.