The junior high gold basketball team from Salt River High School has an impressive roster made up of Zach Joe, Skylar Santeo, Spencer Henderson, Jacob Juan, Malcomb Masten, Jason James, Dion Hernandez and Kobe Blackwater. After a win over Vista Grove Prep Academy on November 29 at the Salt River Community Building, the team improved its record to 2-1.
Head coach Sam Carter said the team is quickly learning how to play team basketball, making a lot of progress in truly learning the game.
“I direct more of the practice [toward] learning basic basketball skills, such as dribbling with your head up, basic ball-handling skills, proper form for shooting the ball, the importance of playing defense, and challenging players to be just as excited about playing good defense as scoring,” Carter said.
He said academics is the most important objective for all athletes, and grades are monitored daily. Students who do not perform in the classroom first are disqualified from playing any sport.
“The team knows that ‘student-athlete’ means student first, athlete second,” he said. “One of the most important skills to learn in playing basketball is communication and truly working as a team, and playing unselfish basketball.
“We promote leadership and instill a sense of pride in the student’s accomplishments,” he added.
Carter said his team’s style of play is dictated by the weakness of the opposing team. They typically use the set offense; however, if an opposing team cannot defend an up-tempo style, Salt River will use that to their advantage.
At the end of the first quarter, Salt River was winning 12-0. They continued through the second half with 12 additional unanswered points to earn the win.
Junior High Girls Gold Team Beats Dobson Academy
On December 1, the Salt River junior high girl’s gold team took on Dobson Academy and at the end of the first quarter they were leading 19-6. Dobson Academy scored six points in the first quarter and were unable to score for the remainder of the game, due to the defense from the junior high gold team.