By D.E. Wheeler
Teamwork is an often used term in sports, and Larry Jobe likes that his Alcorn Central Golden Bears are exemplifying that term during the 1995-96 basketball season.
In fact, the Alcorn Central team has worked its way up to a 13-game winning streak and the No. 2 position in the Daily Journal Basketball Poll.
“I’d like to be able to brag, but I can’t,” Jobe said. “We’re really a blue-collar team, and we’re just trying to play one game at a time.
“We’re proud to have a little winning streak, but we just can’t show up and win every night.”
Since a five-point loss to Division 1-4A foe Oxford, the Bears have been winning when they show up, including two wins this month over county rival Corinth.
“The secret to our success is working together,” Jobe said. “Most of the year, we’ve had good chemistry, and when we’ve run our offense the right way, we’ve gotten high percentage shots.”
A key ingredient in the Bears team chemistry has been junior Nick Coln, who is averaging 21.8 points, 5.8 assists and four rebounds a game. Coln is shooting 63 percent from two-point range and 39 percent from 3-point range, and he brings the basketball up the court most of the time for the Bears, too.
“Nick is playing very well, but during our winning streak, for the most part, all of our kids have been playing well,” Jobe said. As a team, the Bears are shooting 57 percent from 3-point range, with Saul Ellis firing at a 65 percent clip from beyond the arc.
With several players just coming off the football field, Central lost it’s first two games of the season – to Wheeler and Corinth. Biggersville, which Central plays Friday, has also has beaten the Bears, but Coln did not play in that game.
In division play, the Bears are tied with Lafayette County and Oxford for first place in 1-4A with one loss each. A Feb. 6 date with Lafayette County will probably determine the top three seeds for the division tournament, with No. 3 the worst that Central could be seeded.
“Gosh, everyone talks about (Division) 1-3A a lot, this 1-4A is every bit as tough with Oxford, Lafayette County and Holly Springs,” Jobe said. “Both divisions are tough, but that is an example of the level of teams in the whole state.”
Note: On a negative note, Jobe reports that part-time starter, junior guard Jon Hardwick, was injured in an automobile accident Tuesday night. With Alcorn Central not playing, Hardwick had gone to watch Corinth and Pontotoc play and flipped his vehicle during a heavy rain that past through the area.
Following back surgery, Hardwick will miss the rest of the season.