By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal
After a rough start to his first season as head coach, losing the first four games, Commerce High School boys basketball coach Kirby Jackson turned his team around to be in the race for the playoffs, but ultimately fell one game short, falling to Grand Saline on Tuesday 53-47.
The Tigers ended their season with a 14-15 overall record and an 8-6 record in district play.
“The last two games we were short handed,” he said. “That ended up hurting us, but it was a productive year and I’m very proud of the kids.”
The Tigers will be losing three star players, Buck Wilson, Kavrin Massey and Hayden Jackson, to graduation.
“These seniors are pioneers in the success we will have to come,” he said.
Jackson said that although these players will be missed, he expects players like Al Jackson, Josh McKeithen, Trey Smith and Cody Blanton to perform even better this year.
“It’s a really positive thing to show that kids have bought into what you’re doing,” he said. We played well in big games.”
Along with the returning players, the 7th and 8th grade boys basketball teams each had 8-2 records, the junior varsity won more than 15 games and the freshman team went 13-3.
According to Jackson, since all the younger teams performed well, that bodes well for the future of the program.
“I am expecting every year to be in the playoffs,” he said. “This was a big step in that direction.”