Thursday, February 9, 2012
Ennis in 15-4A stretch drive hitting stride
By Randy Jennings
Ennis boys basketball coach Jerry Mason says Tuesday’s Senior Night home game against West Mesquite has the potential to be an emotional one.
This year’s senior class were freshmen when Mason took over the program four years ago. They have been instrumental changing the fortunes of Ennis basketball.
One of senior leaders of the Lions’ resurgence is the coach‘s son, Jordan Mason, a four-year starter who has signed a letter of intent with Colorado State.
With the 6-2 Mason averaging 19.4 points a game, Ennis (17-12, 11-3 in District 15-4A) is on track for its third consecutive playoff appearance. The Lions travel to Red Oak for a 7 p.m. game Friday before finishing the regular season against West Mesquite.
Mason’s scoring average is a couple of points below his career numbers due to more defensive attention he sees, according to his dad.
“I don’t blame ’em, I’d do the same thing if I were playing us,’’ Jerry Mason said. “But it has allowed him to learn how to develop in other areas. Jordan has progressed. He never played until he was in the seventh grade.’’
After living his early years with his mother, Jordan came to live with his father.
“His mom did a great job raising him, but her job made it hard when it came to things like getting him to basketball practice,’’ the coach said. “So he came to live with me.
“Jordan can play either the point or shooting guard. If he is left alone, he is a pretty consistent shooter. But he’s more fun to watch off the dribble.’’
Backcourt mate LaBradford Willis, a 6-1 guard who transferred from Lancaster, is Ennis’ second-leading scorer with a 13.3 average. Willis is starting to draw the attention of college recruiters, the coach said.
Coming off a 26-6 record last season that included a 15-4A title, Ennis began the 2011-2012 campaign as a ranked team. But after a challenging non-district schedule that included several Class 5A teams and a 2-2 start in district, Ennis slipped out of the polls.
“I think that took a little of the pressure away,’’ the coach said.
The Lions have since won 10 of 11, handing 15-4A leader Lancaster its only district defeat.
“I hope we’re peaking at the right time,’’ the coach said.