Men’s Basketball Sectional Preview

Kyle Morgan | Reporter

With little time left for the varsity boys’ basketball team against Mooresville, senior Mitch O’Mara pulled up from the mid-range and hit a buzzer beater to win the matchup 73-72. As the news later hit Twitter, AHS’s school spirit club, the Oriole Army, gave a shoutout to O’Mara, giving him the nickname “Mo Buckets.” O’Mara’s teammate, senior Zion Lindsey, said O’Mara is “clutch” late in games.

“[O’Mara] has that ability to show up in close games and score when needed. That’s just something you can’t teach,” Lindsey said.

Although the team is 4-7 on the season, there have been some bright spots. Junior Chrishon McCray averages 20 points per game, a stat tied for 50th in the state, which is loaded with Division 1 Athletes. Lindsey said he believes McCray is highly underrated.

“I feel like [McCray] doesn’t get enough basketball love since he’s also a football player, but at the same time, I feel like he could really do something special in basketball,” Lindsey said.

Lindsey said he sees the potential in a lot of his teammates and thinks they should be getting more recognition.

“[Senior Yancoba Bakhayokho] was really slept on before he got hurt. Finally, I feel like senior Josh Davis is really slept on as a lot of people don’t talk about him at all,” Lindsey said.

Bakhayokho and Davis have played key roles in the Orioles rotation, with Bakhayokho averaging 11 points and 7 rebounds a game, and Davis typically posting 8 points a game with 6 boards on top of it all. Lindsey said that the team would have to follow a strategy to beat long-time rival Ben Davis.

“Obviously the game against Ben Davis is key, and we have a former player on the other team, Jayden Brewer. We know that he’s going to come hard, so we have to come just as hard as he is. We just have to come mentally and physically prepared and go hard again and we can’t slack,” Lindsey said.

Brewer led the team last year in the 2019-20 season, averaging 15.2 points per game. This year, Brewer is averaging around 18 points per game. As the team moves closer to the beginning of the state tournament, Lindsey said there are some specific things the team needs to do to go deep in the tournament.

“[We need to focus] on playing defense and limiting the key scorers. That’s the biggest thing to win any basketball game, because the scoring is going to come no matter what, but you have to focus on defense because defense is how you win games,” Lindsey said.

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