The annual girls basketball jamboree held at Clinton High passed by with another successful year. With 12 schools from all across the state, teams got a golden chance to see where they stand early before the next season starts.
While it’s true that teams from across North Carolina were in attendance, three of those 12 were local teams looking to improve during the summer. These three teams were the Lady Leopards of Lakewood, the Union Lady Spartans of Union and the host team, the Lady Dark Horses of Clinton.
Each team played three games, with the Horses kicking the day off for local teams with their win against Kinston, 55-51. They went on to play their remaining two games against Grey’s Creek and Topsail, winning both 60-34 and 44-43. The home team brought in three victories as head coach Chris Owens and assistant coach Bobby Lamb were excited with how good the team looked early on.
“I was really proud and satisfied with the way our girls played today,” said Owens. “We executed our plays really well and our defense is where we want it and looks good. Our team has been building nice during the summer and they keep on growing and I’m happy with that.”
“I’d say our girls look like they’re in mid-season form right now,” said Lamb. “We have really come together in the summer, I think we are going to surprise people this season and we’re shooting for the top.”
The Leopards were in on some victory celebration as well after tangling with North Lenoir, James Kenan and West Carteret. Lakewood came out on the day at 2-1 losing game one but managed to take a convincing game over James Kenan 37-21 and then beating West Carteret. Head coach Vonnie McNeil complimented her team, crediting her Lakewood squad for their achievements over the course of the summer.
“Great summer, we accomplished a lot this summer. We still have a lot to work on, but overall we’re looking forward to next year,” said McNeil.
The last local team participating in the jamboree, Union, faced tough competition in West Craven, Westover and North Bruswick. Though the team was competing head coach Bryant Register cared little rather his team won their games are not. As he says his focus was lasered in on how his squad played as a team rather than the ending score.
“I don’t know what the final scores were,” said Register. “I didn’t write anything down myself and my focus also was on how we played as a team and not so much the final score because it was a modified scoring system.”
He went on to express his pleasure with his team’s overall performance during the jamboree and how well they play together, while still noting the team still has room to grow.
“I was very pleased with how we played and blended as a team with out high school girls and younger girls that joined us,” added Register. “We still have a lot of work to do but we will take it one step at a time. This Jamboree was a great help to us because we competed against three very good teams.