Mon February 12, 2024

By Lance Hawley

Sports Nevada

Blue Jays Host District Tourney, Sights Set on Deep Postseason Run

Nevada Hoops Blue Jays Basketball Pace And Space
Blue Jays Host District Tourney, Sights Set on Deep Postseason Run
Nevada- It’s tournament time in Nevada as the #5 ranked Blue Jays enter the District Tournament as the #1 seed, as they won conference play with a 13-1 record. The lone conference loss was on the road at Strong and as fate would have it, the Jays will more than likely face Strong in the District semifinals on Thursday night (barring an upset win by Hampton over Strong). 

A little revenge game is in the works and I know the Jays are looking forward to the opportunity to avenge the lone loss. Nevada is the host this year of the district tourney, and that is always a plus. When asked about being the host team, Brycten Harris said, “I’m happy we’re playing here. We get all the energy.”  Playing at home definitely has its advantages, no travel, shoot in your own gym and, as Brycten noted, you get your home fans packing out the gym. 

“It’s big having it at home, having the home crowd behind us, and I know a lot of people in Nevada are excited about it. It hasn’t been here in a while,” Coach Jamario Bell said this past week. (The bracket will be posted below the article).

On the other side of the bracket is the number 2 seed Dermott and the number 3 seed Emerson. Nevada is 4-0 against those teams, but they were tight games’ and the Jays know that they will have to bring the energy every night to make sure that head to regionals with the 1-seed. “It’s important to get the 1-seed and head to regionals with the 1-seed, get ourselves a favorable matchup and get some momentum going,” Bell said. 

Emerson will have to defeat the winner of Monday nights’ game between Bearden and Hermitage on Tuesday night to secure a spot in the regional tourney, before they can face Dermott for a chance at the district tourney championship. “We have a lot of Want-To. We know all the hard work we put in in the offseason, so we’re hungry for this postseason to get underway. We know what the goal is,” Cardi Adaire said this past week. 

This team has been great all year about controlling the tempo of the game, and bringing intensity and effort on the defensive end of the floor. “Our athleticism has improved. We like the pace we play with offensively and our defensive intensity has been there, which has led to some easy buckets and allowed us to keep the game at our pace,” Kavion Coleman said this past week. Coleman added, “Having this tournament at home is big. We’re going to bring the intensity and looking forward to our crowd. They’re always great here at home.” 

I was lucky enough to watch this team some throughout the summer. I got to witness their work ethic, and as Cardi mentioned, their “want-to." This is a special group, and I believe their best ball is yet to be played. So, if you haven’t been able to come watch the Jays take the court this season, this Thursday night will be a great time to come out and check out the Jays in action. They will face the winner of Tuesday’s game between Strong and Hampton on Thursday night, tip-off is at 7:45 p.m. with a trip to the District Championship on the line.