It was just three years ago when the Jags took on Buford in the 2016-17 State Championship at Stegeman Coliseum, losing 75-61. This season the Jags return four seniors who witnessed that championship bound team, looking to finish the job.
“We talked about winning championships, but you know if we gauge our season on winning championships we may be disappointed,” said Associate Head Coach Grant Moro. “The key is going to be playing with championship effort and championship focus, then playing for a championship is more realistic”.
There is more optimism heading into this season given that senior forward Quincy Canty decided to stay with the Jags as opposed to Core 4 Academy, a state of the art private basketball facility and school in Atlanta.
Canty, who was attending Athens Academy during the Jags’ championship-contending season, believes his presence will be a difference-maker.
“Honestly I was kinda upset because the team said they really wanted me and needed me,” said Quincy Canty on not playing his freshman year at Cedar.
For many of the seniors, they feel as though they understand the expectations heading into the season and have valuable experience from watching their team play in the state championship as freshmen. Senior forward Anthony Jones says they understand the effort and focus necessary to win the big game.
“Everything matters, from footwork, offense-defense, coaching, being coached, all that matters when trying to win state, so we gotta do what we gotta do,” Jones said.
The Jags are ranked 94th out of 808 high schools (MaxPreps) after last season resulted in a tournament loss in the second to Kell. The year before they were ranked 168th.
Both the players and the coaches have the motivation to compete at a championship level. And for the seniors, it’s a matter of finishing something they came so close to doing their freshman year: winning state.
“This is my last shot to go for everything so we gotta hold nothing back,” Jones said.