Whitehall-Coplay Press

Thursday, April 26, 2018

JAMboree at WHS proves to be success

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 by Steve andres Special to the Press in Sports

The Zephyrs played the nightcap of a busy day of hoops last Sunday as they helped raise money for Parkinson’s research as part of the Lehigh Valley Roundball JAMboree.

The Zephyrs tipped off at 5:15 p.m. against Nazareth, the last of four games that benefitted the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research. It was established in honor of former Northampton Area High School basketball coach Mike Schneider.

The day started with a noon tipoff as North Hunterdon faced William Allen. North Hunterdon erased a 20-point deficit to beat the Canaries, 92-89. The second game featured Liberty versus Pocono Mountain West, with the ‘Canes winning a tight one, 57-55, while the third installment had Hazleton facing Parkland with the Cougars trouncing the Trojans, 70-46.

The second annual JAMboree raised approximately $1,200 according to Athletic Director Bob Hartman. The JAMboree will now rotate to another school next season.

Whitehall had a tough task when facing the once-beaten Blue Eagles. They are led by Jahan Dotson who can hurt a team both inside and outside. He proved his versatility, scoring 19 points in the 63-50 win. He also snagged eight rebounds and dished out four dimes in helping Nazareth score its fourth win of the season.

Whitehall’s young lineup is facing some growing pains, and head coach Jeff Jones said that they’re going to have to continue to focus on productive possessions.

“We have stretches, offensively, that are too long where we have gaps where we can’t score, and that’s difficult,” said Jones.

He also said they were hurt by too much dribble penetration as guard Kyle Paccio continually probed the interior looking to feed one of their bigs.

Jones said that he told his team after the game that they’re dealing with some inevitable truths.

“I told them, I can’t make you quicker, I can’t make you bigger in the next couple of days, but we keep challenging them and ask them to compete and play hard,” said Jones.

Jones believes they’re trying and competing as best they can, but they lack valuable experience and that only comes with time. While they may be undermanned, he knows that every time they get into a game will only add to their growth.

“Every minute that we play is valuable in some way, shape or form,” said Jones.

Jones said it doesn’t matter what quarter they play, it all amounts to just competing when they step on the floor.

During the second quarter, they were getting some good looks, but they just weren’t converting. And when they made a dent in the Blue Eagle lead in the second quarter, Nazareth always had an answer. When Dylan McGinley drained a three, Noah Briggs matched the triple, maintaining their 11-point lead.

Jones said that they ran the offense effectively through much of the game, but at times during the first quarter they weren’t patient enough in getting a good shot. In the second half, Tyler Holubowski demonstrated his ability to drive to the basket, as he challenged the bigs inside. His effort led to a couple of trips to the foul line, finishing with eight points.

Jones said that the game yielded a number of positive things, and now they just have to expand on those positives.