When James Bailey needs a change of pace for his team, the New Manchester coach knows exactly who to call on.
Bailey’s second unit has provided a spark plug for the Jaguars basketball team that has been a key to their success.
With the insertion of Randall Quarles, Kemontre Johns, Malik Ogletree, Taylor DeCharri, and Momodou Singhateh into a game, the Jaguars instantly can change the tempo.
“They are momentum changers for us,” Bailey said. “It the starters are off to a slow start, these five usually comes in a pick things up. I trust them and they can come into the game and keep the pace if we need it. They can establish tempo and also maintain it depending on what the situation calls for. They really feed off each other.”
Since the Jaguars employ an uptempo system, Bailey said finding capable substitution was a key for his team. Often he makes wholesale subs during the game in bringing the entire second unit at one time.
The coach said that the team lacked that kind of depth during his first season last year with the team.
“With the system we run, we needed some solid subs to come in to play,” Bailey said. “We were finally able to get our rotation down and it has definitely helped us. The kids have really worked hard to get to this point.”
The Jaguars are 14-4 overall and 10-2 in Region 5-AAAAA heading into this evening’s game against Villa Rica. New Manchester is tied for second place in the region with South Paulding as Allatoona leads the region with a 12-0 record.
The team has won five straight region games and five of its last six games with a loss coming to Redan in the MLK, Jr. Holiday Classic last weekend.
All the subs say they have embraced their role on the team.
“Our role is to promote good spirit on the team,” senior Decharri Taylor said. “We come into the game to energize the team. We look to bring some intensity on defense.”
The work that the reserves do is also appreciated by the starters.
“When we are not playing well, we know they can come in and pick up the pace,” starter Greg Ringer said. “They definitely give us that boost that we sometimes need.”
And the subs look to continue to play a big role as the team moves towards the upcoming region tournament.
“We have to be ready when coach puts us in the game,” senior forward Momodou Singhateh said. “To me, it is about the challenge of being able to help this team. We love the role we play on the team.”