If the East Jackson High School boys basketball team can continue to share the ball and defensive responsibility as well as it did against Grass Lake on Friday night, the Trojans might be sharing in much bigger accomplishments come March.
The Trojans (5-3, 3-1) turned interceptions into easy transition points to build a 44-22 lead by halftime.
“The one thing we’ve been working on that has been really starting to show the last five or six games is a trust that if a guy goes as hard as he can and he doesn’t get it, he can absolutely trust he’ll be helped out,” Zeller said. “We’ve preached it a lot to them and you know, when you’re winning games, they’re listening hard.”
Junior Nick Borrego had four steals and three blocks to go with 15 points.
“Borrego has been great and he’s worked really hard on just staying straight up and down and being a shot-blocker, and that showed several times tonight,” Zeller said.
He had plenty of help, as Jacob Alexander pitched in with 11 rebounds and two blocks and Terry Calagon had 10 rebounds and two blocks.
Grass Lake coach Joel Cook said his team prepared all week for the 1-3-1 zone.
“Today we stopped penetrating, we stopped moving the ball and we started doing what we didn’t want to, which was just shoot constant 3s,” he said.
Senior Dustin Scott led the way for Grass Lake (2-8, 0-3) with 15 points and sophomore K.J. Neibauer pitched in 12 points and 10 rebounds.
For East Jackson, senior Bryan Goostrey had a team-high 19 off the bench, including four 3-pointers, after sitting out much of last week with strep throat and senior Tyler Riske added 15.
Zeller said he’s pleased with the confidence his team has gained heading into the heart of conference play, and Cook said the Trojans are a team that commands respect.
“If they shoot the ball like they did today they’ll compete with anybody,” Cook said.