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PSN Minute Sandy Creek Hoops: Defense is the Key

Sandy Creek Patriots head coach Jon-Michael Nickerson looks on as they take on Osborne

The Georgia High School Association basketball season is well into the second half of the season and the defending 3A state champs, the Sandy Creek Patriots, are having a nearly perfect season after improving to 18-2 overall with their ninth consecutive win after defeating Osborne on Saturday, 73-52. On Tuesday, the Patriots will look to keep their momentum going as they resume region play on the road when they take on the Douglas Astros, with a chance to complete the season series and move to 3-0 in region standings.

On Saturday, after Sandy Creek's win, head coach Jon-Michael Nickerson explained that he believes the biggest factor to the success of the Patriots' season to this point has been their level of play on the defensive end of the court. "They defend, they keep the ball in front, they make every shot hard and then when we get out in transition, we're monsters. They play so unselfish," Nickerson said as he shared his level of confidence in the Patriots ability to stop opposing offenses. "I think we've got the best defense in the state," Nickerson said.

However, while proud of the defensive play of his players, Nickerson expressed that his one area of concern when it comes to the Patriots play, is related to their second half efforts. "Sometimes, we've let teams back in the game when we've gotten a nice lead. We have to continue to stay sharp mentally, don't assume they're going to lay over and quit," Nickerson said adding that his players have to recognize the fact that as defending champs, teams will want to be the one to take them down. "We're at the point where we're everybody's super bowl and so they're not going to quit in the super bowl, they're going to keep playing hard and we have to do the same thing and stay sharp mentally," Nickerson added.


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