The Smyrna High School boys junior varsity basketball team will head into the winter break with a 6-0 record after defeating Lake Forest 56-25 Thursday at home.
The Eagles were led by Latrelle Lee with 10 points, 14 rebounds, and 4 steals. Adding to the win were Greg Duggans with 11 points, and Charlie Taylor who finished the game with 10 points, 3 assists 5 rebounds and 4 steals.
Coming into the season, head coach Dontay Black said the coaching staff expected good things out of the incoming group of players — but not this good.
"I don't think we expected them to jump off to the start that we're at," Black said.
Not only have the young Eagles won, but they've outscored their opponents 355-203, also something Black didn't expect out of his team.
While it appears the JV team is dominating in games, Black said a few of the games have actually been closer than the score suggests.
"They need to work on being a little bit better on defense," Black said. "When we played CR, the score looked lopsided but they really exposed kind of who we were defensively."
Room for improvement
Black believes the team has done so well because of the players' poise, but he said there's still room for improvement. Along with the need to improve on defense, he said the Eagles also need to work on their half-court offense.
As for the players, they agree with Black on where to improve. Freshman Donte Ritchie said the team has done well but needs to tighten up to be a better team than they are now.
Sophomore Latrelle Lee agreed: "I think we need to lower our turnovers but we have good chemistry."
The Eagles will return from winter break with a game at St. Elizabeth and then at Dover, which Black said should be a good game. He said games against the upstate teams will be difficult too because of those team's fast-placed style of play.
"I'm more nervous about when we go up north when we play Concord at Concord," Black said. "Another big one is the Polytech-Smyrna game. It's just a rivalry game. When you have a rivalry, you never know what's going to happen."
As for the team, the boys want to go 20-0 on the season and it's something the players believe they can do if they stick together.
For Black, he just wants to prepare them to move up through the system.
"My goal really in the program as the JV coach is to get these guys prepared to play varsity for Coach Starkey," Black said. "When they go up to varsity and play at that level, I hope the guys are ready."
*Dec. 4 Smyrna defeated Cape Henlopen 57-45
*Dec. 7 Smyrna defeated Sussex Central 66-19
*Dec. 11 Smyrna defeated Seaford 64-37
*Dec. 14 Smyrna defeated CR 61-45
*Dec. 18 Smyrna defeated Sussex Tech 51-32
*Dec. 20 Smyrna defeated Lake Forest 56-25
Email Jennifer Dailey at email@example.com.