By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets finished the 2012-13 high school basketball season with a 6-15 record, but that record doesn't indicate how close Patrick Robinson's squad was to getting over the proverbial hump.
Of the Yellow Jackets' 15 losses, 10 were by 10 points or less.
Looking at Williamsburg's record, it’s easy to dismiss the squad as a bad team, but Robinson is quick to point out that things aren't always the way they seem.
Considering the size of the school and the deep run the Williamsburg football team made in the playoffs, Robinson said the fact he didn't have a full team, much less enough to have a full practice, is something that slowed the Yellow Jackets’ progress this season.
“It's just something that small schools have to deal with in the fact that nearly our entire team plays football and you really don't get your squad until football season is over,” he said. “Our football team made a pretty deep run this year and it slowed us down as far as getting on the court and getting practice time in whereas every other team in our district was able to get started on time or even early.
“I’m not making excuses, but it’s just something that small schools that have to share talent have to do on a yearly basis,” he added. “I think if you look as the season wound down we were starting to play better as a group and that’s a result of time together on the floor.”
After knocking off Lynn Camp by 20 points to start the season, it looked as though the Yellow Jackets were in line to have a good year. Three straight losses to 13th Region foes set Robinson and company back, but they managed to pick up a pair of wins to even the record at 3-3.
A win in the opening game of Williamsburg’s Holiday Tournament on Dec. 27 was the last time the Yellow Jackets saw the win column until more than a month later when they got past Whitley County on Feb. 4.
Williamsburg dropped three of the final five games of the regular season before a loss to Corbin in the 50th District Tournament ended the season.
As they get set to regroup for next season, the Yellow Jackets have the luxury of returning every player on the roster from this season, including two of the top underclassmen in the 13th Region in Skylar Griffith and Corey Shelton.
The sophomore guards paced Williamsburg most of the season, with Griffith averaging 19.2 points per game and Shelton coming in at 17.6.
As a team, Williamsburg averaged 58.9 ppg, meaning the duo combined to account for 62 percent of the team's scoring.
Considering the firepower he'll have returning next season, Robinson said another year under the belt of this young group can only help them on the floor next season.
“Playing together is the best way to improve when you're a young team,” Robinson said. “Hopefully we can get around 20 or 25 games in over the summer and maybe get the guys to gel a bit as a team, which will hopefully bleed over into the regular season.
“I think with the guys coming back, the kids we'll get back from injuries and the young kids we’ll return, we should be a better team next season,” he added. “Hopefully because of that, we can come out and compete with the teams in our district and region.”
By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
- Local Sports
The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets are partying like it's 1987! That was the last time the Jackets won a game in the 13th Region Tournament, and they ended the 27-year drought with a 47-44 win over the heavily-favored Knox Central Panthers on Thursday night.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'Em
When it comes to picking region tournament games, it’s not an easy task to say the least. This is the most parity that I’ve ever seen in the 13th Region Boys and Girls Tournaments.
If Clay County’s play during the first game of the 13th Region Tournament is any indication of things to come, Robert Marcum’s squad could be well on its way of capturing their second straight 13th Region championship.
The Way it is
Since I’m picking Corbin to pull off the upset against Jackson County today, I figured I’d give my top five upsets dating back to 2005-06 when the 13th realigned and welcomed both North and South Laurel high schools to the mix.
Tony Pietrowski’s Corbin Redhounds have been favored during the past two first round 13th Region match-ups, and have been upset both times. Corbin is hoping things might change a bit this time around.
Barbourville will have hands full against Bell County today
Dinky Phipps’ Barbourville Tigers are looking for their first 13th Region Tournament win dating back to 2006’s tournament when they defeated Clay County in the regional semifinals.
Like It or Not
There’s an elephant in the room at this year’s 13th Region Tournament, and really in basketball in general, and I guess I’ll be the first one to point it out (publicly with my name attached to it).
Chris' Daily Region Pick'Em
With the first three days of opening round games in the books, I can honestly say I'm not surprised that I'm 4-2 overall when it comes to my pick'ems record.
You can never count out the Clay County Lady Tigers when it comes to the 13th Region Tournament.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'em
After going just .500 during the girls games, things are going to get even tougher when it comes to picking the 13th Region Boys Tournament games.
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