The North Jackson varsity boys basketball team spent the summer ratcheting up the tempo on its style of play.
When Zac Barringer arrived as head coach back before the 2016-17 season, the hoped to install a fast-paced style.
But lack-depth and having personnel that better fit a half-court style, the Chiefs played slower than Barringer preferred. But improved depth and players more apt “to get up and down” the floor have allowed North Jackson to push the medal down this summer.
“This is the style I’ve always wanted to be able to play at,” Barringer said. “The changes we made, the guys adapted to really well. The kids enjoyed it, enjoyed playing like that.”
The style change produced good results.
The Chiefs went 15-3 over six play dates at Gadsden State, UAH, Dade County (Georgia) High School, Pisgah, Covington College and the two the Chiefs hosted at North Jackson.
The Chiefs picked up wins over Hokes Bluff, Holly Pond, Oak Mountain, Madison Academy, Sand Rock, Dade County, Oakwood, Asbury, Douglas, Boaz, Pisgah, South Pittsburg (Tenn.), Chattanooga Christian, Lafayette (Georgia) and Gordon Central (Georgia). North Jackson’s losses came against Piedmont, Fort Payne and Van Buren County (Tennessee).
Barringer cautioned his team that summer wins don’t equal regular-season wins, but the coach was encouraged to see North Jackson wins some close games in tough situations.
“We struggled last year to close out games, just didn’t know how to win those close wins and how to close out a win,” Barringer said. “We found ourselves in some games like that this summer and found a way to win. Hopefully that’ll give us some confidence in those kind of games.”
Suiting up for the Chiefs this summer where rising seniors Trevor Anderson, Daniel Feigel, Carter Gass, Eli Gill, Tyrus Jackson and Trayvon Nicholson, rising juniors Cade Reed and Brandyn Thompson and rising sophomores Zekin Ballard and Brady Cunningham.
“I thought we played really well,” Barringer said. “We played some good competition. I thought we really played well together and everybody was buying into the new philosophy.”