There seems to be a common theme for the head basketball coaches in GHSA Region 2-AAA as they get close to the holiday break.
The region is tough and balanced and showcases a ton of talent. That means the region games following the holidays are going to be exciting and interesting.
Region 2-AAA has 10 teams, so the teams already have jumped into region play, and they will have many more region contests to play after the break.
“It’s going to be a dog fight every night for everybody,” Howard head coach Jay Lunce said. “You may go into a game thinking you’re going to have an easy night, but that’s not going to happen. Every game is going to be tough, and it’s going to be a highly competitive region. That’s a good thing; that’s good for all of us.”
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The Huskies have handled region play well so far.
Howard is 5-1 overall and in the region with its first loss coming Tuesday night to Mary Persons. The Huskies are led in scoring by Cameron Dacus (18.8 points per game), while Brandon Glover (14.6) and Josh Sallette (11.4) are also averaging in double figures, and Dominique Gibson (9.2) isn’t far off.
Lunce said his goal is for the team to average 70 points per game, and it is close at 68.6.
“We’ve got a balanced group, and that’s key for us,” Lunce said.
Lunce got an up-close view of one of the region’s best players Tuesday in Mary Persons’ Brannen Greene.
The junior’s talents drew Kansas head coach Bill Self, Florida head coach Billy Donovan and Louisville head coach Rick Pitino to Tuesday’s game.
“He’s a talented young guy, for sure,” Lunce said of Greene. “It’s a pleasure to coach against one of the best players in the state and the nation, for that matter. And he’s just a junior. He’s still growing physically and learning the game, and it’s amazing how good a player he is and how much talent he has.”
Virgil Amey gets to coach Greene each day as Mary Persons’ head coach, and he is happy to have him on his side. That’s especially true in the difficult Region 2-AAA. The Bulldogs are 3-3 overall and in the region in Amey’s first season with the program.
“It’s been a tough road right out of the gate for us in this region,” he said. “We hit the ground running in this region, but we’re still in the infancy stage. We’re a baby trying to grow up quickly. They’re still learning our terminology and what I expect from them, and we’re continuing to work on those things.
“We think we’ll be a much better team in February than we are in December.”
Central is growing, as well, but head coach Andre Taylor likes what he has seen from his team.
The Chargers are 5-2 overall and 4-1 in the region, and they have a balanced attack, led in scoring by Quintavias Virgil (13.5). Takori Clark (12.6), Riarus Dudley (12.1) and Kavizea Oliver (10.0) are also averaging in double figures, and Joshua Evins (8.8) is close.
“The majority of our region brought back the majority of its talent, and it has made the region really tough this year,” Taylor said. “We’re trying to get things going for our team, and the more games we play, the better team we’re going to be and the more we’re going to improve.”