Pushing Peak Performance

Adam Abougendia and Marko Barrera

  Staying undefeated in the Jaguar’s den, the boys varsity basketball team was able to finish possibly their most difficult week-long stretches of games of the season. This past week, they played four games, two of them being against two teams that are ranked in the top five in the state of Florida, being Columbus High School as well as Lake Highland Prep. After, they played their final home game of the season during Senior Night versus Everglades High. After the busy week, the Jags were able to come out with all wins and no losses. With one game left in their regular season, it is safe to say that the Jags are on path to end the season almost flawlessly.

  Columbus high school is one of the most well known basketball programs in the country. Coming in at number four in the state, the Jaguars knew what they were getting into when the sons of former NBA all star Carlos Boozer walked onto Campus. The freshmen twins, both standing over 6’4 towered over the majority of the schools they faced. However, the Charter boys were different as expected. Behind senior Geoff Sprouse’s 23 points and a packed house for the game, Pines Charter came out firing on all cylinders and blew out Columbus 83-57. This game had it all; alley-oop finishes by Elijah Wyche, and the constant pressure from Kolby King and Sprouse led the Jaguar fans chanting for more. That’s exactly what they got as the team moved on to face another highly ranked opponent, Lake Highland Prep. 

  With Lake Highland Prep, it is a similar story. Entering tip-off as fifth in the state, Lake Highland Prep holds a reputation almost as big as Columbus High. Being only three days after the Columbus game, the Jags spent their Saturday driving the three hour ride up to Lakeland for another tough ball game. A well-rounded performance for each player helped for a 64-59 win over this school. Geoff Sprouse led the team with 16 points while Caelum Ethridge and Elijah Wyche carried their weights, each ending the game with 13 points. Consistency was key in this game, as Charter did not give up their lead over the course of each quarter. After finishing their three most difficult games, the boys were able to take a bit of breather before their celebration at Senior Night.

  The seniors this season were sure to be core players for the team. Alex Montero, Matthew Lauriston, as well as Kolby, Caelum, Elijah, and Geoff, of course, all spent their final high school regular season representing the Jaguar spirit with pride. Going up against Everglades High, this night gave equal focus to the celebration of the seniors, as well as keeping up with their near-perfect play. After going through with the traditional senior ceremony, the Jags easily met expectations with yet another win to finish the four-game stretch. Caelum led scorers with 25 points, alongside another great game from Geoff with his own 18 points. 

  Despite having one game left in the regular season versus IMG Academy(1st in the state), their run is far from over, as this last game won’t be a cake walk. Not to mention, a push for another ring is still on their minds. Even after all their successes, the reigning state champs won’t have time to be satisfied during this year’s postseason.