TRURO - This year's version of the Truro Panthers junior high boys basketball team
has undergone a transformation from old to new.
Gone from last year's team are six Grade 9 players. However, one player has been forced to lead the way as the senior of the team: Taran Jordan.
"Taran has shown the ability to lead on the floor with his passion and determination for winning," said Panthers coach Chris Ross.
"Having a player like Taran on our team has allowed me to let him do some coaching on the floor as opposed to always telling the players what to do in certain situations. It has been a huge help having him lead by example. He's an excellent penetrator and slasher. He uses these skills to help pass the ball and set up other team members.
"His experience is invaluable."
The Panthers will be leaning on Jordan this weekend as they host their annual tournament at the school. New Glasgow, Hants North and Pugwash are also competing.
Action starts today at 4 p.m. when the Panthers meet New Glasgow with play continuing until 7:30 p.m.
Action picks up at 9 a.m. Saturday with the final slated for 2:30 p.m.
Ross' son Tristen, a Grade 7 player and the team's leading scorer, will also be looked upon to perform in the clutch.
"I can use him in several different positions on the court, yet still have him play the point guard position," Ross said. "Tristen causes terrible match-ups for the opposing team. Most coaches would play him on the inside of the key. I have him bringing up the ball most of the time playing point guard."
Having a mixture of veterans and young players has allowed the Panthers to take on the traditional power houses in the league. The team has four Grade 7 players, two Grade 8s and three Grade 9s, which bodes well for the Panthers' future.
"This is an enjoyable team to coach," Ross said.
"We find ourselves in games smiling and laughing with each other. Sure we get down when things don't go our way. However, when the game is over and we reflect as a team, things really aren't that bad.
"Hopefully the boys will look back and have a laugh or two; maybe even say that they have learned something along the way."