ACTIVITIES & CLUBS
Deerfield boys feel they are tournament ready
February 14, 2013Deerfield Beach High School
Deerfield Beach - Senior guard Marcus Owens is grateful for the tough competition this year. He believes it will carry the Bucks boys basketball team deep into the playoffs and possibly earn the team the Class 8A state title.
"I think we are good enough to be a state championship team," said Owens, who is averaging 16 points and six rebounds for the Bucks (25-4) who host Miramar (15-7) in Thursday's regional quarterfinal. "We just have to play hard and have no let ups. We have to play 32 minutes of Bucks basketball."
Two of Deerfield Beach's four losses were to Blanche Ely, another was a 60-50 loss to Sagemont and the fourth was a three-point defeat to Ballard (KY) in the championship game of the Kingdom of the Sun holiday tournament in Ocala.
"Playing teams like that helped us out," said Owens, who had 17 points and 11 rebounds as the Bucks cruised to their third district title in a row, 75-50 over Douglas on Saturday night. "Last year, we didn't have much competition. Ely and some of the teams we have played in tournaments this year has gotten us ready for the big games at the end of the season."
Until the Bucks' run to the regional final last year where it lost to Spanish River 67-61, Deerfield Beach hadn't made the state series since 2004. The Bucks are hopeful of winning its first state title since it won in 1997 and again in 1999 under then coach Melvin Randall, who now coaches at Blanche Ely and led the Tigers to the Class 7A championship last season.
The Bucks have also gotten strong performances this season from senior guard Terence Johnson (17.2 points, 5.2 rpg), senior center/power forward Joshua Huntley (7.2 points, 7.8 rpg), junior guard Vanderbilt Carpenter (9.4 points, 6 assists), and senior small forward Javaris Jenkins (9.5 points, 7.3 rpg).
"Losing last year hurt immensely," said fifth-year coach Kenny Brown, who noted this was the deepest team he has ever had at the school. "It hurt a lot, but at the same time, we used it as a learning experience of what it takes to get to where we want to get to. We know this is a small stepping-stone to where we are trying to get. I can always reference back to last year and say if you don't like that feeling, make sure you do everything you need to do."
When asked if they can win a state title, Brown smiled. "Stay tuned!"