Past sometimes predicts future.
Having seen his Baileysville Rough Riders win the county championship at the sixth grade level, coach Shawn Jenkins figured they could do the same in the eighth grade.
Turns out he was right. The Rough Riders used pressure defense and good shooting to jump in front and went on to beat Pineville, 51-34, in the Class A boys championship at Mullens Middle School on Thursday night.
Pressure defense and good perimeter shooting sparked the Riders early.
Elijah Puett and Matthew Atwell hit threes early, and Shane Jenkins drove to the basket as Baileysville built a 15-4 lead early in the second quarter.
“Coming out and making those shots set the tone,” Shawn Jenkins commented.
After trailing by as much as 16, Pineville got within 25-13 on an Evan Preece three-pointer and a Cameron Cook foul shot.
Trey Blankenship’s follow shot made it 27-13 at the half.
Baileysville extended the lead to 41-23 by the end of the third quarter and the Minutmen didn’t get closer than 15 after that.
“I love this team,” Jenkins commented.
Team members embraced their roles, he said. The Riders finished at 16-2.
While four starters are eighth graders, Jenkins says the cupboard is not bare.
“I think we can be back here next year,” he commented.
Shane Jenkins scored 21 for the Riders and Atwell had 10.
Cook (9) and Hoosier (8) paced Pineville.
John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.