The sixth- and seventh-grade Yellow Jackets snuck past the Hoosiers to advance in the preseason Hoopster tournament.
The Yellow Jackets put up 10 first-quarter points en route to a 27-22 win over the Hoosiers Nov. 14 at the East Lawrence Recreation Center.
Yellow Jackets head coach Lowell Stewart said his team is progressing from game to game.
"We played much better than last week, and we're starting to grasp a few things that make coach happy," Stewart said. "The offense has gotten much better and the urgency of defending has picked up."
Forward Chris Gatson is the team's leader on offense. Gatson scored 10 points to pace the Yellow Jackets in the stat column. Gatson used his size to out-muscle the Hoosiers down low to get lay-ups. Gatson has the size of a forward but the dribbling and ball handling skills of a point guard. His versatility made it difficult for the Hoosiers defenders to shadow him on defense.
The Yellow Jackets jumped to an early first-quarter lead with an offensive attack that came from numerous players. Forward Jake Johnson and guard Calloway Schmidt chipped in on the attack for a combined seven points. Gatson set up many of their buckets by either driving to the basket or kicking the ball out to the perimeter from the post position.
Even though the Hoosiers fell behind early, they battled back during the second half. The entire team used more ball movement to create scoring chances.
Hoosiers point guard Ross Johnson took advantage of many of those scoring chances. Johnson scored a game-high 12 points. He also got the job done on defense with quick hands. In one three-play stretch, Johnson slapped the ball away from the Yellow Jackets and stole the ball. He then ran out on the fast break to score six points to reel in the Yellow Jackets. Johnson finished the game with eight steals.
Hoosiers guard Nate Davis was the most aggressive offensive player on the court. On every possession, Davis looked to drive the lane but not to score. Davis was cool under pressure and passed the ball to open teammates when he was double teamed beneath the rim.
In the end, the duo of Davis and Johnson couldn't match the teamwork of the Yellow Jackets.
The Yellow Jackets might have played with teamwork, but Stewart said the team was still incorporating new players.
"We still need some work on defense, and the kids need to run the offense the way they do in practice," Stewart said. "We've got a lot of kids that are football players, but now that football is done we can have everyone at practice and that should work well."
Both the Yellow Jackets and the Hoosiers concluded their preseason schedules Monday night.