There is good news and bad news regarding last season for the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears in basketball. First with the good news, Coach Brad Jeffcoat and his Bears enjoyed a success season. LC-M was 23-13 while winning a Bi-District game over Diboll before being knocked out in the second round of the playoffs by Hardin-Jefferson.
Jeffcoat provided the bad news concerning graduation from last season. The Bears graduated 11 seniors so they are starting fresh this season. They only have one varsity player coming back. He is a good one! Braden Bridges is a three-year starter and two-time first team all-district. Jeffcoat pronounced, “He’s going to lead us probably in every major category and that’s it.”
There are a lot of holes to fill, and the Bears have a small senior class of only three players on the varsity. LC-M has been blessed with good younger groups from the junior and sophomore classes that have been winners at the lower level.
Coach Jeffcoat supplied the names of Bears he plans to use on the court. Jackson Smith is a junior and is a shooting guard who the coach thinks is going to be a really good player. Just a sophomore Jesse Doucette is a 6-3 wing who can shoot the ball as well as drive it in the paint. Jeffcoat believes the sky is the limit for Doucette, but he has to learn to play a little tougher.
At point guard is sophomore Cameron Prescott. He is starting to figure things out and making stronger contributions. Coming off the football team as quarterback is Ethan McCollum. Coach Jeffcoat calls him the best athlete at LC-M. He is tough and very athletic. “All these guys are young, they’re inexperienced, but they’ve got the chance to be really good basketball players,” Jeffcoat predicted.
Inexperience is obviously a big problem for LC-M with only one player back from the varsity. Jeffcoat indicated the Bears have struggled this season to find their rhythm. They played their first three games all losses without players from the football team which is almost half the squad.
As expected, Bridges has been the leader averaging about 23 points a game. Jeffcoat expressed, “We need some other guys to step up all at the same time. We haven’t quite had that complete effort yet. We’ve got some growing up to do. When you’re inexperienced you’ve got to learn these lessons the hard way, but at the end of the day those are all excuses. We’ve got to go out make plays and get some wins.” The Bears won their first game over Legacy Christian on November 27.
Coach Jeffcoat shared his expectations for LCM. He wants the Bears to be a good defensive team that gives up less than 52 points a game. Jeffcoat desires the players be able to run selectively on offense. “We’d like to get in the playoffs, we’d like to win a playoff game, that’s the expectations here at LC-M. The last two years we’ve been here we’ve won a playoff game and we’re looking to stay there and maybe take the next step and push into the third round,” Jeffcoat concluded.