The Lejeune High School boys basketball team started the 2018-19 season in winning fashion with a 63-31 victory over Swansboro at Brewster Middle School, Nov. 26.
LHS went 10-14 a year ago after a 4-0 start.
This season, Coach Hugh Miller is focused on leadership from returning players who were freshmen and sophomores a year ago.
“Some of my key players are Malachi Borders, Aaron Pierce, Jarrod Debose and Jalen Armstrong,” said Miller. “We had a young team last year with freshmen and sophomores, and we are still young with two freshmen on the team. We don’t have size, but we have speed on the team.”
Miller said the team must focus on defense and rebounding.
“We didn’t do some smart plays in the first half, but we came out playing a better game in the second half,” said Miller. “Boxing out is what we need to work on as a team by looking at the rebounding totals.”
LHS took an 18-15 lead after the first quarter but limited Swansboro to just one point in the second to lead 32-16 at halftime.
“Coach Miller told us in the locker room that we need to focus and speed up our game playing hard,” said Borders. “When we play team basketball, it is going to be pretty hard to stop. Some of us play AAU basketball together, so coming over to high school basketball works very well because we know how to jell together. We know where everyone’s strengths are at and how we can set them up to succeed.”
Though the team sometimes loses players because of military transfers, the Devil Pups picked up one this year in Pierce, who played three years at Dixon High School before coming to Lejeune to end his high school career. Pierce had five points in his LHS debut.
“If you play fast and tough during a game, you will win,” said Pierce. “Coach Miller says that we can slow it down if we need to, but if we can run, then we need to. I jumped right into practice after wrapping up soccer. I worked with some of these guys in the summer and I mesh well with them.”
Borders led the Devil Pups with 14 points.
The Lejeune High School girls basketball team did not play against Swansboro as the team searches for players to fill the roster. LHS athletic director Debbie Bryant declined to comment on the status of the Lejeune High School girls team.
LHS is scheduled to host Jones Senior on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Brewster Middle School and then host North Duplin on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Brewster Middle School.
Visit www.camplejeuneglobe.com and follow @TheGlobesports on Twitter for game updates on Lejeune basketball.
Justin Smith 11, Lorenzo White 10, Isaiah Rodriguez 3, Ngozi Batts 3, Zack Stanley 2, Jack Laine 2.
Malachi Borders 14, Jarrod Debose 10, Nick Simon 9, Jalen Armstrong 8, Kevin Jones 6, Kylen Jones 6, Aaron Pierce 5, Kobe Ullrich 2
Swansboro 220.127.116.11 —31
Lejeune 18.104.22.168 —63