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JaKeenan Davis of Robert E. Lee High School throws down a dunk during action at the Lee College summer basketball league.

Positive returns for area teams

The Lee College summer high school basketball league wrapped up Monday.

The regular season begins in November.

The Robert E. Lee Ganders finished its run through the summer league with a 4-2 record after its loss to Dayton in the team’s finale.

“I feel like we got what we needed out of it,” REL head coach Seth Due said. “Our biggest emphasis was offensive skill development and team intensity on defense. I was able to see improvement in those areas.”

He also saw improvement in the players who would show up to summer workouts. Those took place on Tuesdays and Thursdays and emphasized a mix of skill development, open gyms and strength and conditioning. 

“We averaged anywhere from 15 to 20 sophomores through seniors coming pretty regular,” Due said. “The numbers that were there were the guys committed to the program and consistently getting better.”

Ross S. Sterling head coach Greg Smith had two teams in the league and both dropped decisions Monday – falling to Goose Creek Memorial and Barbers Hill.

“We were able to get a lot of kids some much needed experience and were able to spread our kids out enough to see what they can do individually and collectively,” Smith said. “ We are aware that some people may disagree with the way we spread our kids out, but it allows for kids to have the opportunity to prove themselves. It can and did go both ways for our kids: some kids proved they can play at this level and some proved they can not.”

Smith didn’t keep track of his teams’ records during the league and was mindful of how their efforts translated onto the court in terms of effectiveness and success.

“We will work harder than anybody to get ready for the season and we are excited for the opportunity to prove ourselves,” Smith said. “No matter how many people will talk negative about Baytown basketball, we are going to expect a lot of ourselves and we are going to prove a lot of people wrong.”

GCM head coach Marcus Ebow saw the league as a tremendous benefit moving forward from a 3-2 finish.

“Barbers Hill was the only game that we lost by double digits so I really like how we competed overall,” Ebow said. “With us being a young team, summer league play really gave our guys an opportunity to face varsity competition and introduce them to the speed and physicality that they will see this upcoming season. 

“It was good to see a few guys step up and assert themselves.”

As for Barbers Hill, head coach Chris Pennington saw his new roster go 6-0.

“We started off with packed open gyms in the month of June and took advantage of the UIL two-hour rule working on skills before open gym games,” Pennington said. “Several of our guys played a lot of basketball with AAU teams in the Houston area. We also played a few tournaments with our high school team against AAU competition. 

“Our players have grown up a lot this summer and even though we lost 11 seniors from last years district championship team, we feel like the new guys have set themselves up to be successful this basketball season.”

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