A perfect season remained just that for Coach Ryan Unger and his seventh grade boys squad from North Adams as they put their unbeaten mark on the line on Jan. 11 on their home court, welcoming to town the West Union Dragons. For the second time this season and for their 11th win overall, the Devils downed the Drgaons, this time by a final score of 51-15.
“This game against West Union was probably the best team basketball we have played in awhile,” said Coach Unger. “I felt like we didn’t force a lot of shots or passes and we defended better the whole game and not just in spurts like we had in a couple of previous games. We came out and kind of put a stamp on the game and set the pace that we wanted to play.”
That “stamp” resulted in a 12-5 lead after the first quarter, with the Devils being fueled by three buckets each from Jayden Hesler and Seth Meade. Meade hit three more baskets in the second quarter while Andrew Brand added a two and a three, leading North Adams to a 28-9 halftime lead.
“This group of kids has a tendency to just attack and once the ball goes up, they want to prove they are the best and all 10 kids do that,” continued Unger. “It’s nice as a coach to have such a group of kids that winning is all they care about and it doesn’t matter who is scoring as long as they are winning. It’s a good year when you have 10 kids and they can all play and understand the game. It makes the year go much easier for a coach.”
“This group has played together since third grade and the chemistry they have built up is one of a kind. They are able to see each other on the floor in spots most people wouldn’t think they could. They are very unselfish. They have bought into the concept of team ball. Making the adjustment from Pee-Wee to junior high was a bit of a shock and took some getting used to, but they have quickly focused on winning and coming together as a group.”
In the second half of Monday night’s game, the North Adams defense was on alert as they only allowed six points in two quarters, while spending most of the half on offense sharpening their three-point shooting. In numerous attempts from nearly everyone on the roster, the Devils got treys from Brand, Seth Vogel, and Seth Meade on their way to the victory.
Seth Meade led the winners with 15 points, all in the first three quarters, followed by Hesler with 11, and Brand and Vogel with 8 apiece. West Union was topped by 6 points from Jai-Michael Knox and 5 from Jordan Gibson.
Even with the big winning streak, Coach Unger doesn’t want this team taking anything for granted.
“I think some times as a coach you have to make sure that your kids don’t get complacent with winning, but are trying to get better and work on things that we aren’t doing as good as we should,” said the North Adams coach. “Every day we practice against our eighth grade team and I think that has helped us a lot in games, to getting stronger, finishing at the basket, and handling pressure. Every day we have to stay humble and understand that we have a big target on our back and every team we play is coming for us and we have to bring our best game every night to make sure we keep proving we want to be the best. I’m proud of these kids and they effort they give every night.”
“The future is very bright with this group of junior high kids that we have right now at North Adams, and we may just get back to the years of always going to the Convo like we used to.”
The undefeated Green Devils made it 12-0 on Wednesday night with a 38-20 win over Whiteoak and have four Southern Hills Athletic Conference games left to keep their record spotless, Jan. 20 at home with Fairfield, Jan. 23 at Fayetteville, Jan. 30 at Lynchburg, and Feb. 3 at Manchester.
The seventh grade Dragons will travel to Lynchburg on Jan. 16, host Ripley on Jan. 20, Eastern on Jan. 23, Fairfield on Jan. 30, and then travel to Peebles on Feb. 3.
WUJH 5 4 5 1 —15
NAJH 12 16 16 7 —51
WUJH (15): Knox 2 1-2 6, Jones 0 0-2 0, Jarvis 0 0-1 0, Fetters 1 0-0 2, Abbott 1 0-0 2, Gibosn 2 1-2 5, Team 6 2-7 15.
NAJH (51): C. Crawford 1 0-0 2, Brand 3 0-0 8, J. Crawford 1 0-0 2, Vogel 3 0-0 8, Shipley 1 1-2-3, Hesler 4 3-4 11, S. Meade 7 0-0 15, C. Meade 1 0-0 2, Hoop 0 0-2 0, Team 21 4-7 51.
WUJH- Knox 1
NAJH- Brand 2, Vogel 2, S. Meade 1