Big-time players relish the moment when they have the ball in their hands during the toughest of situations.
The boys basketball season may have kicked off a mere month ago, but there is already a player who stands out among the rest in my mind.
Emerald Ridge senior guard Marcus Harris, who has been in the starting lineup since his sophomore season, has helped the Jaguars to a 3-2 South Puget Sound League South Division record. He scored a game-high 28 points in an overtime win against Puyallup and tallied 31 points in an overtime victory against Rogers.
Harris hit a game-tying 3-pointer despite a defender being draped in his face with 0.9 seconds left in regulation to force overtime against the Rams. Emerald Ridge went on to defeat Rogers, 65-60.
Harris is the Jaguars’ go-to player both on the court and in the locker room. When he speaks, his teammates listen, and that’s the ultimate compliment for any leader.
Going into the season, the Jaguars appeared to be a team in rebuilding mode, considering they graduated eight seniors last year. Instead, they’ve proven they’re contenders in the SPSL South.
Harris is a big reason for the Jaguars’ success. He can hit from the perimeter and is adept at driving to the basket and drawing fouls.
Emerald Ridge head coach Pat Mullen started Harris two years ago, and that decision has paid dividends ever since.
The Jaguars will travel to University Place to face the Curtis Vikings in a pivotal game on Jan. 3. Curtis is currently undefeated in SPSL action.
It will be a huge test for Harris and the Jaguars, who will find out where they stand as they head into the final month of the regular season.
Sports Editor Shaun Scott can be reached at 253-552-7002 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_shaun.