Young guns make varsity

Varsity basketball off to rough start with young team


photo by Chatham Ferrell

Freshman Jah Nze going for a jumpshot during the second quarter of the game versus Lake Mary. The team would go on to win, 72-66.

Basketball felt more like baseball with all of the curve balls thrown at them early in the season. Head coach Josh Kohn had a team with no returning starters, and starting pointguard Gerold Manderville suffered a fractured ankle. However, two players have come in and changed the dynamic of the team.

Those two players are freshmen.

“Being a freshman on varsity motivates me to become a better player,” freshman Brice Sensabaugh said. “I want to improve my ability to lock up whoever is in front of me on defense.”

Jah Nze is the second freshman on varsity,and one of the two leading scorers, averaging 26 points and seven rebounds per game. The other, Sensabaugh is averaging 14 points and eight rebounds per game. These two freshman certainly do not play like it as they are both impact players on both sides of the court.

Because the team is young, they have had early season struggles, but they are showing that they are able to bounce back.

“It’s why basketball is so great, this will motivate us a lot going forward,” Kohn said.

With the team at 2-2, there was motivation to get something going, and senior Jeremiah Wilson knows the team has it in them.

“Last year, we had battle-tested guys that knew the ropes. This year we’re all learning howto win,” Wilson said. “We have new roles, doing things that we’ve never had to do before. But in the end, it’ll be worth it.”

University traveled to play the team on Wednesday, Dec. 12, and the team was eager to get back in the win column.

The game was off to a quick start, with Hagerty taking an 18-8 lead at the end of the first quarter. It was very much of the same in the second, with Hagerty leading by 10 at the half.

The team slowed down, and by the end of regulation, the game was tied at 72 after a comeback effort by University.

Once overtime started, it was back and forth,until Wilson and junior Tyler Pate put together a “steal-and-score” run, with Wilson having two steals and Pate taking advantage both times, scoring four points to ultimately win the game for the team’s third win of the season.

“Our team performance was overall good,just needed to execute and finish the game,”Nze said.

Sensabaugh was on fire in the second half,drilling five consecutive three pointers.

“I felt that my performance was solid and that I helped the team on to a victory,”Sensabaugh said. “We played good team ball and scored well.”

Regardless of the rough start, their goal hasn’t changed.

“Personally, I want to add a banner,” Wilson said. “Whether that’s a district, regional, or state championship. Maybe even all three. I want people to remember this team.”

The next game is Tuesday, at 7 p.m. versus