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Katy Jordan has made some noise in its inaugural year of varsity play, qualifying for the playoffs in a tough District 19-5A.
KATY—In its first year of varsity boys basketball play, Jordan has not only made the playoffs. It has done so rather demonstratively, in a tough district as well.
The Warriors are 20-10 overall, 11-4 in District 19-5A, sitting in third place behind state-ranked Katy ISD rival Paetow and A&M Consolidated and looking nothing like a team with only 30 varsity games under its belt.
Alas, here the Warriors are. Jordan clinched a playoff spot last Saturday with two games to spare. It has done so without seniors. Sophomores and juniors mostly dot the roster.
What the Warriors have is an identity. A strong, free-flowing motion offense. A rapidly improving defense. And, most importantly, an all-in culture fostered by head coach Charlie Jones.
“Family first,” said Jones, who played high school ball at nearby Cinco Ranch. “We want these kids to know they can come to me or any of our coaches to talk to about everything. It just helps to have that family atmosphere. When you enjoy being together, practices are fun. Games are fun.”
The foundation of the Warriors is junior guard Shawn Mitchell and junior forward Trevor Martz.
The physical, quick Mitchell is averaging a team-best 15.8 points and 3.3 assists per game. He gets the Warriors into sets quickly and is one of the few Warriors who can get their own shot anytime and anywhere when the offense breaks down.
Nice pull-up by Shawn Mitchell. Has nine points early. #txhshoops @KatyJordanHoops @JHSWarriors_ABC @JordanHSAthlet1pic.twitter.com/4VxV1F7PXA — Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II)
“I’m just trying to get my team better,” Mitchell said. “Working the offense and getting them open shots. Gotta keep practicing hard. Last year, I didn’t too well. This year, I’m just working hard and doing better.”
The 6-foot-4 Martz is averaging 13.2 points and a team-best 8.9 rebounds per game. He can play inside or out and is an excellent mover of the ball, like many of his teammates.
As a team, the Warriors assist on more than half of their baskets; 55 percent, to be exact. Six players average at least six points per game; three average double-figures in scoring.
Jordan isn’t big—no Warrior stands taller than 6-4—but it doesn’t necessarily need to be. Martz and junior Quinn Ford, though undersized, handle the dirty work inside, and Mitchell can create for himself or 3-point marksmen like Martz and juniors Ethan Black and Misaias Herrera.
“I tell them all the time it’s beautiful,” Jones said of the motion offense. “And we do it in practice all the time. Everybody gets to shoot. We work on things in practice, like not giving the ball to people in certain situations, but everybody on this team has the freedom and the belief that if they’re open, they’re allowed to take the shot. That’s a good freedom to have.”
Jacob Ryan triple off terrific ball movement from @KatyJordanHoops. #txhshoops @JHSWarriors_ABC @JordanHSAthlet1pic.twitter.com/jPZEAhBqMU — Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II)
During the program’s inaugural season of play last year, on a junior varsity schedule, Mitchell said the team learned to keep on pushing, even through the bad days. Junior Jacob Ryan said the team plays well together, but even that remains a work in progress due to the limited time they’ve had together so far.
“They’ve been working hard since last year, which was a crazy year with COVID and everything,” Jones said. “For them to keep building to start a program off the right way, I’m excited for the boys. We came in (as coaches), do what we normally do as far as having fun and staying together, and they’ve been great buying in.
“I tell our kids all the time that what they’re doing is not normal. It’s hard. Schools that open up don’t make the playoffs this fast. They don’t win 20 games this fast. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, keep doing what you’re doing, and enjoy it later on.”
The Warriors have enjoyed the ride so far. But they also know their work isn’t through.
“The job isn’t done,” Martz said. “But we’ve got to where we are to where we can now succeed. We’ve gained more confidence. We know we’re a good team. We know we can compete with anyone. We’re confident with where we’re at.”
.@KatyJordanHoops junior forward Trevor Martz talks about the Warriors clinching a playoff berth in their inaugural year of varsity ball and more. #txhshoops @KatyISDAthletic @JhsWarriors @JordanHSAthlet1 @KatyJordanAT1 @CharlieBJones_pic.twitter.com/IrnBFPZxlN — VYPE Houston (@VYPE Houston)