Fresh off getting a bye for a region tournament it will serve as host, the Josey boys basketball team can now try to earn the right to brag.
The Eagles get a chance as rival Laney visits tonight, providing Josey an opportunity to end a five-game losing streak in the series. The Eagles haven’t defeated Laney since a 63-47 win on Feb. 13, 2009, according to gaprepcountry.com.
“It’s been a while,” Eagles coach Jabari Levi said. “Duke-North Carolina, Georgia-Georgia Tech, all big rivalries go through waves.”
The rivalry game comes before Josey plays host to the Region 3-AAA Tournament, where the Eagles have a bye because of wins in their final three subregion games.
The Eagles (16-8) have four players averaging at least nine points per game this season, with Kyle Doyle’s 20.4 one of the highest scoring averages in the area.
Deion Craig is also one of the four, and he broke out Tuesday against Harlem when he made 10 3-pointers in a 24-point win. Craig called it the perfect senior night.
Craig, like his teammates, said the squad has tried to stay focused during this hectic stretch of facing the Wildcats and preparing for the region tournament. Josey needs to win just one game in the tournament to secure a spot in the state playoffs.
In getting ready for the Wildcats, Josey watched film Wednesday of the 40-39 loss on Dec. 10. Turnovers and missed free throws doomed the Eagles that night, as Levi said there were more than two dozen turnovers.
However, Levi did say both teams are much different now, adding both have improved.
But the Eagles’ progress is more noticeable, at least when looking at the team a year ago.
The previous season, Josey won 10 games. This season, the Eagles won game No. 10 on Jan. 7, and it was against Butler, the Class AAA state runner-up last year.