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Jets are favored to win first sectional in over a decade

February 27, 2012

STREAKING JETS — Junior Dalton Combs and AC are in a good position to compete with their stacked sectional for the first time in years. (Photo by Kalvin Fiechter)

    How do you get 16 wins, tied for third-best in school history, with a good chance of reaching a school-best 20 wins or more?
    The Adams Central way is this way, says coach Aaron McClure, as he and many others eagerly anticipate the South Adams 2A sectional:
    (1) Having "six starters," with the regular rotation of seniors Maverick Baumer, Ben Snider, Kyle Fawcett, and Keaton Fiechter plus junior Dalton Combs as well as virtual starter junior Isaac Luginbill.
    (2) Receiving great productivity out of everyone taking the floor, such as seven players with at least one double-figure scoring game and an eighth who had nine points once. Diversity brings victory.
    (3) Hitting 139 three-point shots (averaging more than seven makes per game), while opponents made just 74—a two-to-one advantage. Seven Jets have made threes this year, led by Baumer's 46, Combs' 44, and Luginbill's 32.
    (4) Getting 29 dunks, with 26 from the 6-6 Baumer, whose most climactic was a steal, drive, and tomahawk against Parkway.
    (5) Blocking 100 shots (12 against South Adams and a 5.4 average), while suffering only 37 blocks by defenders.
    (6) Passing for 247 assists (13 per game), with 20 in one game.
    (7) Pulling off 107 steals (5.8 per game).
    (8) Holding opponents to 14 points per game less than the Jets average: 51 versus 65.
    (9) Support by a strong fan base that, says McClure, matched or surpassed the crowds at every road game the Jets played, not to mention the large turnouts in Monroe. He expressed his gratitude to all the red-and-white backers.
    The 16-3 Flying Jets had two 8-1 runs before losing the regular-season closer at New Haven and those 16 triumphs include a 61-55 decision over defending sectional champion Bluffton and a 90-64 blowout of perennial ACAC power Leo as AC claimed the conference title with its first unbeaten record: 7-0.
    McClure says success this year was expected from a group of players that has been building toward this point for two or three years, only a few years after an 0-20 season.

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