The Norman Transcript

December 27, 2012

Jaguars are exceeding their expectations

By Michael Kinney
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Westmoore coach Scott Hodges didn’t know exactly what type of team he would have. With an inexperienced team, he just had to wait and see how the group would mesh.

Well, six games into the season, Hodges likes what he sees from his Jaguars.

“I really feel like we had a good first semester,” Hodges said. “I can definitely tell we are getting better every day and have our best basketball ahead of us. The thing I really am excited about is how hard these guys are playing and how well they are playing together. Hopefully that continues and we continue to make improvements.”

Westmoore has a 4-2 record. Its only losses have been to top-ranked Edmond Memorial in the season opener and to Norman High in the finals of the Durant Classic.

“The thing I have been most proud of with our guys so far is how we’ve battled back in a few games,” Hodges said. “We haven’t gotten off to the best start in a few games, but we continued to fight and got ourselves back into those games and won a few of them. I’ve always said with this group when they play hard and defend like we need to, we will be a tough team to beat.”

The Jaguars return only two starters from last year in Trey Ayala and Tripp Fuller. Both have come up with big games in the early season.

But it has been the emergence of Dillion Thompson that has made the Jags’ offense pop. Whether it is driving to the hoop for a rim-rattling dunk or crossing over a defender and knocking down a jump shot, he knows how to put the ball through the basket.

“Dillion has a unique ability to score the basketball,” Hodges said. “He is probably one of the few players we’ve had around here in the last few years that can just go create his own offense. He is a very talented player, and he has shown it so far this season. Against Norman North last Friday, he had 28 points and was extremely aggressive, and that is what we need from him.”

The combination of Thompson, Fuller and Ayala has given Westmoore a three-headed monster that is difficult for opposing teams to deal with.

“When you add Dillion with Tripp and Trey, we become pretty hard to guard on the offensive end because they are three totally different players,” Hodges said. “Hopefully all our guys can continue to feed off each other.”

The Jaguars will get back to work today in the first round of the Duncan Chisholm Trail Holiday Shootout. It’s a chance for the team to keep its momentum going and to get ready for rest of the season.

“This time of the year, I really want to see us continue to work hard in practice and improve every day,” Hodges said. “We know we have an incredibly tough conference schedule the second half of the season, but I think these guys are ready for that challenge and ready to see what this team is capable of.”

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