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Jackson Boys Basketball

By Mike Moore

Staff Writer

 

Jackson — A little bit of recall offers a bit of perspective.

 

Looking back offers a chance to learn, formulate an approach, and maybe most of all, build some confidence.

 

The East Lansing boys basketball team is undefeated this year.

 

But as Dan Crowley and his Jackson boys squad prepare for tonight’s 6 p.m. home game, they know the Trojans aren’t unbeatable.

 

“We have a very tall task at hand,” Crowley said Thursday night. “That’s a team ranked third in the state. It’s a team coming off a very impressive win. It’s going to be a great challenge for us.”

 

Not an impossible one, though.

 

Crowley garners that from the aforementioned looking back.

 

When Jackson traveled to play at East Lansing Dec. 9, the Vikings held a 21-19 advantage after the first quarter.

 

East Lansing outscored the Vikings by just one, 19-18, in the third, and the teams played to a 17-17 draw in the fourth.

 

The difference, as it would be, was a 27-9 run for East Lansing in the second quarter.

 

“If you can keep them from runs, you have a chance,” Crowley said. “It’s on us to avoid those runs, and it starts with protecting the ball.”

 

East Lansing enters Friday night’s game with an 11-0 record.

 

After going 20-0 during the regular season last winter, the Trojans haven’t lost a regular season game since March 5, 2015.

 

In the latest Michigan Associated Press poll, East Lansing was ranked No. 3 in Class A and has one of the top players in the state in Brandon Johns.

 

Just a junior, Johns had 17 points and 13 rebounds in the first victory over Jackson.

 

“He’s the best player in the conference,” Crowley said. “The task is trying to control him and some of their top players.”

 

As usual, Shonte Suddeth will be a key to Jackson’s attack.

 

The senior guard is coming off a 28 point, five assist and four steal performance in the team’s 53-49 loss to Everett.

 

“Marquise Robinson is also going to need a huge game,” Crowley said. “Guys like Jonah Noland also have to step up with some big minutes. Our bench has been good, and we need that to continue.”

 

Jackson enters the game 4-6 on the year and trying to snap a three-game losing streak.

 

“This is exciting,” Crowley said. “We feel like this is a great chance for us to beat a team that hasn’t lost in the regular season in a long time. We know we can play with them. At the same time, we have to shoot well. We can’t take bad shots. We have to play our best game of the season.”

 

Mike Moore is a play-by-play commentator and Sports Writer for JTV Sports.

 He’s also a Real Estate agent with Real Estate One, specializing with buyers and sellers throughout Michigan, from the Jackson area to metro Detroit. You can reach him at mjm12@albion.edu or by calling (313) 770-6365 with any inquiries.