BRIGHTON — A glimpse of a bright future was on display during a Saturday sweep by the Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School junior varsity boys basketball team.
PECS ended its season at home Jan. 16 with a narrow win against Osceola Middle School and a blowout victory against Yearling Middle School. The young Seminoles finished with a 6-2 record, an encouraging sign considering several spots need to be filled next season on the varsity squad.
“The guys are hard workers,” said PECS coach Kevin Jackson. “We’ve definitely improved along the way. That’s all you can ask – that your guys get better as the season goes on and understand the system, especially the younger guys who have a chance of playing up next year.”
Led by speedy guards Ramone Baker, Dathen Garcia, Dakoya Nunez and Kai Osceola, the JV showcased its bevy of capable ball-handlers who thrived in transition against Yearling. Dathen and Dakoya worked a nifty give-and-go that opened the scoring and moments later they alertly executed an inbounds play to perfection under the basket that gave the Seminoles an 8-0 lead.
With Jayton Baker ruling the paint at both ends, PECS flexed its strength on the boards. Jayton seemed to get every rebound he wanted against opponents who couldn’t match his size and reach and did more than just pluck balls out of the air; he displayed agile moves by a big guy and a soft scoring touch on his way to notching 25 points in the two games.
The Seminoles grabbed seven consecutive offensive rebounds in one trip against Yearling, and even though the ball somehow stayed out of the hoop, the sequence served as proof that help is on the way to a varsity team that will lose its two tallest players.
In the 38-36 win against Osceola Middle , Ramone and Jayton each scored 11 points. Kai and Tanner Shore scored six points apiece and Dakoya scored four points.
Jayton’s 14 points led the squad in the 49-21 win against Yearling. Kai and Dakoya scored 10 and eight points, respectively. Tanner contributed six points. Ramone and Jaytron Baker each scored four points.
In a January varsity game against West Glades, Ramone shined with a game-high 15 points. Dakoya sank two 3-pointers and finished with 10 points. Tucker Johns was nearly perfect from the foul line. He made five of six free throws and finished with seven points.
A handful of JV players received a healthy dose of varsity action during the season as they bounced back and forth between teams, an experience that should help cushion the loss of nine eighth-graders.
“It’s going to be tough,” Jackson said, “but some of the young guys are going to be the guys stepping up next year.”