‘Jacks bringing mix of old and new into toughest stretch of the season
NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - A banged up SFA Lumberjack squad survived the first nine games of the season with a respectable 7-2 record.
The competition is about to get much harder as the ‘Jacks will be in Fort Worth on Saturday to take on the 5-3 Liberty Flames. After that the team returns home for a battle against Louisiana Monroe, which always seems to give SFA headaches, followed by a trip to No.8 Kansas.
“We are entering a part of our season where we are playing some of the best teams we will play all year long,” head coach Kyle Keller said. “Saturday we are playing Liberty, a team that has averaged 25 wins a year for the last five years. They are someone we think we compare ourselves to.”
The ‘Jacks overcame several players battling the flu to get easy wins out of the way against Lincoln University, 90-54, and Wiley College, 100- 76. Nigel Hawkins returned to the team for the first time this season, recovered from a hand injury, in the game against Wiley, playing 17 minutes and getting 10 points. The game was also a breakout performance for transfer and East Texas native SaDadriene Hall. Hall had 28 points and 10 rebounds.
“It was a struggle at first because it was a new experience for me,” Hall said. “After boot camp and we came together it has been fun learning from the older guys and helping us improve.”
Along with freshman Jalyen Jackson-Posey the two contribute to a team with veteran experience that includes three “super seniors”.
”We have a bunch of older guys and a bunch of new guys with a vast difference in playing experience,” Keller said. “That is the fun part of coaching when you can get it all together. We haven’t been altogether yet. Nigel Hawkins has been a big part and hasn’t played yet until a little the other night. I am excited we get our whole team together and we get it at the best part of our schedule as we get into December.”
The game against Liberty is the final of three games Saturday in Fort Worth as part of the inaugural Hall of Fame Classic. Tip off is set for 6 p.m. from the DIckies Arena. The game will be streamed on FLoSports.
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