The Jasper Lady Bulldogs are peaking at just the right time with playoff competition only a fortnight away. Ranked fourteenth in the latest 4A Texas Girls Coaches Association poll, Brandon Shumake's crew has delivered wide ranging wins since November.
With wins over multiple 5A schools already this season, this senior laden squad is poised to smash past last years area round loss to Midlothian Heritage. Lead by daughter Kinley Shumake the third year coach also relies on top scorer Asia Mitchell (17ppg), Heaven Scott, and Amiah Mcqueen to fortify the teams winning personality.
The Jasper Bulldogs head into Friday nights matchup versus Center going for their sixth consecutive district crown, but it won't be easy. Both teams are undefeated in district play with 3-0 records and Center brings with them an "Air Raid" offense and a strong running attack led by all-star running back Keamondre Horace.
Jasper comes in as heavy favorites as a top ten team in Texas 4A, head coach Darrell Barbay expects a battle for the district crown.
"We're excited for the opportunity," said Barbay, who's had the top job at Jasper since 2012.
"Both teams are undefeated (in district), Friday nights game will be one of our better tests this year. Our kids are excited and it's good for our program."
Jasper is rolling with three straight wins over district foes Shepard, Huntington, and Tarkington, averaging nearly 50 points per win. the Bulldogs will rely on their run game with all-district candidate Montavien Hunt at running back along with sidekick Carl Limbrick.
"We're going to try and control the ball and limit their possessions," said Barbay.
"Thats one way to stop them is not let them touch the ball. Our philosophy is to run the ball, run the clock, play great defense, and make sure they don't touch it. Offensively we feel like we can score."
The winner Friday night will get the all important number one seed going into next weeks playoffs and the Bulldogs are a confident team as they look at another post-Thanksgiving playoff run.
"If you're going to get to Dallas you're going to have to beat whoever you run into. You're either going to run into them in the second, third, or fourth rounds to get there. It's going to be nice for us to play for the district championship but we're going to face whoever we need to face at some point. Our kids are confident."
A Friday night win would give Barbay his 64th win at Jasper and 144th overall in nineteen years as a head coach.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm at Bulldog Field in Jasper.
Click on the play button below to listen to the podcast interview with Jasper HC Darrell Barbay.