CANDLER – Everything was very off-kilter for the Enka boys when basketball season began in November.
A couple All-Mountain Athletic Conference guards had transferred. And the only two players with any real varsity experience to speak of – seniors Joevell Lee and Sage Turner – were both on the shelf with injuries.
The Jets would still say their record (4-11 overall and 2-2 in the Mountain Athletic Conference) leaves a lot to be desired. But check out who has won three out of their last five games and is coming off back-to-back wins for the first time after Tuesday’s 53-51 nonconference tilt at West Henderson.
“Our motto has become ‘Win the day’ because we truly do feel that every day is an opportunity to get better,” Enka coach Brian Carver said.
“We still have inexperience on the floor and sometimes it shows. But these kids have really bought into playing for each other. There is no ego or pride with this group. They have really made me enjoy coaching. I’m doing more teaching than ever before and I don’t mind. This is a very enjoyable group to be around.”
Jake Crowe (13 points), Logan Neff (12) and Turner (11) gave the Jets their scoring punch on Tuesday.
“The difference between this team now and the beginning of the season is night and day,” said Turner, who is a 6-foot guard.
“We’re more of a team, much more than we were in the past.”
The Jets started their season 0-4 before beating Mount Pleasant, 51-44, in the Coaches vs. Cancer Shootout on Nov. 28 at UNC Asheville. Enka has since won its last two MAC games (Erwin and Reynolds). Brandon Jump pumped in a team-high 16 points Friday as the Jets overcame a 53-45 deficit entering the final quarter to beat the visiting Rockets, 67-65.
Turner netted 13 points, while Crowe and Neff each had 12 and Lee scored nine.
Enka resumes MAC play on Friday at 4-A division leader McDowell (8-7, 3-1). The Jets’ senior class is a considerable nine-man group made up of Crowe, Jump, Lee, Neff, Turner, Bryson Buckner, Matt Anderson, Michael Sampson and Zach Henry.