The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

January 17, 2013

Pacers roll into Ponca City, Plainsmen seek traction

(Continued)

ENID, Okla. — Plainsmen’s Jackson tries to find early-season form

Jemarcus Jackson entered his senior season as the Plainsmen’s leading returning scorer.

He didn’t disappoint early, debuting with a 21-point outburst in the team’s opening loss to Midwest City and averaging a team-best 13.5 in the first four games as Enid opened 2-2.

Since then, Enid (4-8) has lost six of eight, and Jackson has scored just 7.3 points per game, breaking double digits only twice.

“I think right now he’s just dealing with some confidence issues in his offense,” said coach Ryan Wilkinson, who made a point to add the Plainsmen’s struggles were by no means based on Jackson’s offensive slow-down.

“When you have a few games and you’re not scoring what you think you need to, it’s going to hurt your confidence a little bit … He just needs to get back to what he knows he can do.”

Jackson agreed he wasn’t feeling as confident as he had earlier in the season.

“Great shooters become great shooters by having confidence in their shot, and I’ve been losing it lately, and I’ve been trying to get it back,” said Jackson, who said he wants to start games inside before shooting from range. “All I can do is keep working, and keep shooting, and I’ll gain it back.”

Jackson was at his best when Enid needed his production most, scoring a team-high 14 in a double-digit rally to beat Norman 53-52 late last month, and though he’s scored just five and eight in the team’s two games since, the Plainsmen can win their third game in four tries on Friday when they visit a Ponca City team that has stumbled through its own recent run of rugged play.

The Wildcats (4-9) have lost four of eight, most recently in a 59-56 overtime loss to 4A No. 3 Victory Christian School.

“They’re big, they’re strong,” Wilkinson said. “We’re going to have to do a really good job rebounding against them. We’ll be giving up a little bit of size at almost every position.”

“If we go out there and just feel like we’re automatically going to win, they’re going to beat us,” Jackson said. “That’s what that team’s about. The more people that have less confidence in what they do, they’re going to come out and prove (otherwise) to them.”

Maybe by Saturday, the same will be said about Jackson.

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