Jaguars just want to play
Mill Valley boys haven’t played a game in 4 weeks
Call the Mill Valley boys the Mystery Men.
To themselves, their coaches and their opponents, few people know a whole lot about the Jaguars at this point. Most high school basketball teams have played five or six games already this season, but the Jaguars have taken the court just twice.
They have a blowout victory over Turner and an ugly loss against Shawnee Mission South to their credit, and they haven’t played a game since Dec. 9.
MVHS coach Justin Bogart said each performance represented an extreme for his team, but he’s still waiting to get a clear picture of who the Jaguars will become.
“We had a big win and a big loss, so there’s still a huge question mark hanging over us right now,” he said.
A third game had been on the schedule Dec. 16 at Basehor-Linwood, but the game was postponed after snow and ice slicked the streets.
The Jaguars were slated to play at Gardner-Edgerton on Tuesday night. Results were unavailable at press time, but it marked the first time in four weeks they’ve played a game.
“I know they are dying to play some games,” Bogart said. “They don’t talk a lot about it, but you can tell they’re anxious to play. I’m anxious for us to play as well.
“It’s very difficult to keep kids going as hard as you want in practice without the carrot of a game to throw out in front of them, but we’ve persevered. I would be disappointed if we didn’t come out in high gear the rest of the season because we have so many games to play.”
The Jaguars (1-1) will have plenty of opportunities to develop an identity in the coming weeks. Including the Class 5A sub-state tournament, they will play at least 19 games in the next two months. They have 10 games in January.
“Literally half of our season we’ll play in about three weeks,” Bogart said.
That January slate opened with Gardner-Edgerton on Tuesday. It also includes a Friday home game against Bonner Springs, a Jan. 13 game against Piper and a Jan. 16 game against Lansing before taking on Shawnee Mission Northwest in the opening round of the Saints Classic on Jan. 22 at St. Thomas Aquinas.
Despite having so many games in such a short period of time, Bogart said he isn’t concerned about fatigue causing problems for his team.
“As far as legs are concerned, the kids are still 16 years old, and whether they believe it or not they should have the motor to go through that schedule,” he said.
Instead, Bogart is focused on making sure he players execute their own strategy and build on their strengths.
“It’s a matter of making sure we’re focusing on us and not concerning ourselves more than necessary with our opponents, because we’ll see a variety of them in a short amount of time,” he said. “Taking care of business from that standpoint is critical.”