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Jimmies basketball returns to practice ahead of packed second semester

After taking time off for the holiday, the teams look to continue their torrid starts to the season.

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As Christmas has passed, the University of Jamestown basketball teams have returned to campus with a renewed intensity to get back to what is a busy second semester for both teams.

The men’s basketball team had their first practice on Monday, Dec. 28, ahead of their game at 3:45 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 1, when they face Morningside. The women’s basketball team returned to practice Sunday, Dec. 26, ahead of their game at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 29, when they go to Valley City State.

The last time the men’s basketball team played was on Sunday, Dec. 19, when they beat Presentation College. The last time the women’s basketball team played was on Dec. 19 when they lost to North Dakota State University.

The No. 12 men's team comes in at 14-2 overall with a five-game winning streak. The women's team comes in at 10-4 overall, on a six-game winning streak.

The break to go home and be with their families was big especially for the men’s team who played 18 games this season.

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“It was good to get a bulk of our nonconference and those two scrimmages were big for us too, just playing a junior college and a Division II school,” Jimmies men’s head coach Danny Neville said. “I think we definitely got a good look at what we are and who we could be. I think we had a busy November and played a lot of games and went to California. I think going back to your first question it was nice to get that many games out of the way. But it was nice to get a little break.”

The teams returned excited and are ready to get back to playing competitive games, according to girls head coach Thad Sankey.

“Felt really nice to be on the court,” Sankey said. “Our players came back ready to go and we’ve had three good practices leading up to tonight.”

The men's team is just as excited to get back to games, men's basketball forward Devon Schultz said.

"The break was definitely nice but it's really good to be back on campus with the team and grinding at practice, getting ready for the game Saturday. Breaks are always nice but it's really good to be back and in full force," Schultz said.

Sankey and his team now have nine games in January, which Sankey said makes the timing of the break helpful for his team.

"We needed a break to refresh and refocus, (with a) big stretch in January starting with tonight's road game," Sankey said.

The time away from the court was big for Neville’s team, which meant that he tried to not flood the group chat with messages and let his players have time with their families.

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The men’s team’s first game back from Christmas break is big for the team, Neville said. The team had eight of their 16 official games on the road to start the season.

“It’s huge. Guys were traveling, traveling from everywhere in the snowstorm,” Neville said. “I felt like we had a lot of road games first semester, so it’s nice to get a home game right away.”

The atmosphere in practice, according to men's basketball forward Mason Walters, has been completely focused on the game against Morningside.

"Practice has been competitive and focused these last couple days," Walters said. "We are excited to all be back together."

Hello,
My name is Max O'Neill. I am a Sports Reporter at The Jamestown Sun. I am a native New Yorker, who graduated from Ithaca College in 2020 with a degree in Television-Radio.
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