The Maynard Jackson boys began something pretty good in their first season under coach Travis Williams. The evolution has continued this season, with the Jaguars standing at 18-1 and riding an six-game winning streak headed down the stretch.
“They’ve had the opportunity to get into the system and they’ve really bought into what we’re trying to do,” Williams said. “Now its important for them to stay focused, continue to work hard and keep doing the things they’ve been doing.”
Williams has been a good mentor for the team. He brings great credentials, having played and coached at Georgia State and serving as a head coach at Fort Valley State and Tennessee State. The Jaguars are in first place in Region 6-AAAAA and have three games this week against Carver, Lithia Springs and Riverwood, currently one game behind them in the region.
Jackson, ranked No. 10 by the AJC, has lost only to reigning Class AAAAAAA champion Tift County. The Jaguars are 9-0 at home, average 65 points, 29 rebounds and shoot 46 percent from the field.
The Jags have an all-state caliber player in senior Marquavis Carter, a 6-1 guard who averages 23 points and shoots 38 percent on 3-pointers. Carter also averages 4.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists, but his strength is scoring the ball.
“He is able to score. He is able to execute in our offense,” Williams said. “He can shoot the lights out, he can score in the halfcourt and he’s able to take it to the basket.”
Other key members of the team are: Terrance Boykins, a 6-7 senior who averages nine points and five rebounds; Damari “D.J.” Johnson, a 5-8 senior who averages 12.2 points and is known for his ball-handling and ability to run the offense; and Timipa Ogoun, a 6-5 sophomore considered the best post player and rebounder who averages nine points, nine rebounds and three blocks.
“We’ve got some good athletes and they’ve learned to play for each other, not for themselves,” Williams said. “And there’s good depth on the bench.”
The Jaguars left an impression last year when they went 19-9, finished second in the regular season, and lost five games by a total of 12 points. They lost to Cedar Shoals, the eventual state runner-up, in the first round of the playoffs.
“We started this journey in August at team camp,” Williams said. “I tell the guys we’ve got to finish strong and stay focused.”