By Mike Moore
Jackson — It was just the second week and third game of the season. Playing at home, Elliot Munz watched as his Jackson girls basketball team started a Tuesday night by falling behind Northwest 7-0.
From that point forward, his Vikings have been a different team, the coach said Wednesday night.
“We took time out, kind of got our focus back, and we started to come back,” Munz recalled. “It was a back-and-forth game all night, a huge challenge because we had to come from behind.”
But with a lock-down defense, Jackson allowed 39 points the rest of the night and ran away with a 53-46 victory.
“And that’s when I knew what this team was really capable of,” Munz said.
More than a month later, and following Tuesday’s 63-52 victory over Eastern, the Vikings are 6-2 overall, and it’s the defense leading the charge.
“The girls have really bought in to what we’re trying to do,” Munz said. “We focus on the defense. Everything starts on the defensive end.”
Munz admitted his lineup is undersized, “but very athletic. We’re able to put pressure on other teams and take them out of their game.”
The Vikings are allowing just 43.1 points per game, but have allowed more than 40 just once.
Munz said Lauren Perdue and Mahoganey Ware have been leading the way on the defensive end.
“Their athletic and bring a lot to the floor,” he said.
On the other end of the floor, the Vikings are scoring nearly 50 per game, led by Jada Moorehead (13 points per game) and Romee Natschki (12).
Even stronger, or more noticeable, than the defensive play, is the fact the Vikings are doing all this while starting four sophomores.
“With four freshmen on varsity last year, we were able to preach the little things,” Munz said. “They listened well. They paid attention to details. It’s translated to this year.”
And, as Jackson approaches the mid point of the winter season, the hope is the quick start translates to a strong finish.
“We’re hoping to build the resume up some,” Munz said. He led Jackson to an 11-10 finish last year. “We want to contend in the league. We want to win a district championship. We feel we have the team capable of that. The potential is there, and these girls are having a great time with all this.”
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 email@example.com or by calling (313) 770-6365 with any inquiries.