A-J boys’ basketball had an outstanding season
The Anna-Jonesboro Community High School boys’ basketball team finished an outstanding season in 2018.
Winning a Class 2A regional for the first time since 2004 and setting a new school record with an amazing 23-9 record were no small feats.
The Class 2A regional title was also especially impressive because head A-J coach Mike Chamness was a member of that 2004 season.
The loss to Trenton Wesclin in the semifinals of the Class 2A sectional was somewhat disappointing, but didn’t put a damper on the remainder of the season.
It was very enjoyable watching the Wildcats play this season. There were only a few games where they were not in and in close games they usually came out on top.
With Jake Parr leading the way, the Wildcats were impressive with their rebounding and shooting abilities.
Parr led A-J in both categories averaging 22.3 points and 9.1 rebounds per game despite being double-teamed in a lot of games.
Senior Sheldon McGrath also came through and made a lot of noise as well.
Other seniors who made contributions during the season were Ross Pinnon, Jacob Zimmerman, Noah Smith and Logan Sawyer. The six seniors have been in the program for the last four years.
Several of the Wildcats had honed in on shooting those 3-pointers and were very impressive hitting that shot in many contests.
The cupboard is not bare for next season with underclassmen Blake Pena, Tyler Smith, Carson Reynolds and Noah McFarland all returning with valuable playing experience.
Cameron Tweedy, Conner Jerolds, Noah Craig and Kyle McMahan saw action as well and will also return.
The coach substituted a lot this year with those underclassmen and it will no doubt pay huge dividends for next year’s A-J team.
This year’s 2017-2018 team will never be forgotten and it will now be interesting to see which players will be selected for the Southern Illinois River-to-River Conference Mississippi Division squad as well as the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association All-State team.