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Boys Basketball: Bloom starts strong, expects more

Updated: January 27, 2013 6:20AM



Bloom is 7-2, but coach Jasper Williams said no one has yet seen how good the Blazing Trojans can be.

“The season is going as we expected,” Williams said. “We knew it’d take some time to get adjusted. Our shooting has picked up lately. We still haven’t played a complete game, but once we put everything together, I can see us improving a lot.”

Senior guard Dejahown Freeman is leading the Blazing Trojans in scoring, averaging 12 points per game, while senior forward Johnny Griffin has pitched in 11.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game and has energized the team with some thunderous dunks.

“Johnny is a three-year varsity starter and he’s had a great season so far,” Williams said. “I expect it to continue. He’s been scoring, rebounding and defending. Once our younger guards start playing better, I think you’ll see Johnny’s stats improve.”

Speaking of younger guards, Williams is counting on junior Zerrell Jackson to run the point and fill the huge void left by the graduation of last season’s leading scorer, Donald Moore, who led Bloom to a fourth-place finish in Class 4A in 2011-12.

“(Jackson) is cutting down on his turnovers the last few games,” Williams said. “I’m hoping he starts thinking like a coach on the floor. When that happens, we won’t be missing Donald as much.”

Bloom hopes to defend its McDipper title. The Blazing Trojans open the tournament at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday against Phillips.

“The Dipper is always a measuring stick for the rest of the season,” Williams said. “We’re playing well right now so I expect us to go there and do well.”

Bengals building

Oak Forest started the season slow, but with a 4-6 record heading into this week’s Medieval Classic, coach Matt Manzke sees his team starting to come together.

“We’re a little young and we struggled early,” he said. “We’re starting to improve and our football guys are getting their basketball legs, which has helped.”

Junior guard Tom Shute has led the Bengals with 13.4 points per game. He’s shooting at an 82 percent clip from the free-throw line.



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