Trojans match up with Ponca City in regional tournament
Jenks boys basketball has enjoyed one of its best regular seasons in recent history and they’ll look to continue that success into the regional tournament this weekend.
The Trojans (18-4) are hosting a regional tournament which features Owasso (11-12), Ponca City (9-14) and Mustang (9-12). Jenks will be matched up with Ponca City Friday in the first round.
Though the Trojans will come into the regional as favorites, they know they can’t overlook the shooting barrage that Ponca City will throw at them on Friday.
“A team that shoots a lot of threes, even if the percentage isn’t very good, the more threes you make, it adds up,” coach Clay Martin said. “They’ve got multiple kids that let it fly from deep. We’re going to have to be good on ball defenders or if we have to help over, we’re going to give up too many threes because of the kick out.”
The Wildcats will force Jenks to come in with defensive intensity, but Martin says he doesn’t think his team will have a difficult time with that task.
“We’ve been pretty good at it (limiting threes) all year,” he said. “Our on ball defense has been good and I think our kids have done a good job of selling out each week to, what do we need to do to try and take away something from our opponent, try and take away their strengths. Limiting three-point shots is big this Friday.”
The Trojans started the year 16-1 but in their last five games they hold a record of 2-3. The Trojans lost to Booker T. Washington, Sand Springs and Union, whom Jenks has defeated twice in the regular season.
Despite the recent struggles, Jenks isn’t concerned about their play.
“Does it worry me? No. we were looking at different lineups on senior night (against Sand Springs). We were looking at some different things Friday against Union knowing we might see them again in a couple of weeks. It’s hard to beat a team three times in a year, much less four,” Martin said.
In order to break out of the recent slump, they’ll need to see an uptick in offense. Getting better looks on shots will be key to coming out of the regional victorious.
“I think we’ve got to shoot it a little better than we have the last few games,” Martin said. “We’ve been lucky that we haven’t had a very big dip in our shooting percentages, but you get into the playoffs and you’ve got to make shots. I’d like to see us shoot with confidence.”
In the one regular season meeting, Jenks knocked off Owasso at home in a narrow 49-47 game. They have solid players at each position and a stout big man.
Mustang is a young squad, albeit dangerous. For the Broncos, Ethan Scott is considered one of the best shooters in the state.
“Our region is pretty loaded,” Martin said. “You just want to squeak by. We’ve played good basketball all year round. The challenge is going to be, yes, these games mean a little bit more but what we’ve been doing is good enough. I’ve always told them that your good enough is good enough. Just stay true to our values.”
Regional Tournament Information:
When: Friday Feb. 28 at 8 p.m.
Who: Jenks vs. Ponca City
Where: Frank Herald Fieldhouse
Other Teams in the Regional: Owasso, Mustang