Newborne, Jarvis contribute to team

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 5, 2000

As the seconds ticked off the clock during Natchez High’s victory over unbeaten Vidalia, Derek Jarvis and Vasshun Newborne knew they had made a difference in the game. The two Natchez sophomores contribute in their own way as they continue to learn the game of basketball.

Jarvis, a 6-5, 245 pound center, grabbed key rebounds in the second half while the Bulldogs were holding on to a small lead.

Newborne, a 6-4, 185 pound forward, played good defense for the Bulldogs and pulled down important defensive boards.

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Each played for the B-team last season. Both agree the next step to high school basketball is significant.

&uot;All the players are faster in high school,&uot; Jarvis said. &uot;It is an adjustment to get used to.&uot;

Newborne has been practicing with the team since the summer, but Jarvis had a later start. Jarvis also plays tight end and defensive end on the Natchez football team. He didn’t join the basketball team until the Bulldogs played their final football game.

&uot;Since I played tight end, I was already using my hands to catch the ball plus I was already in shape,&uot; Jarvis said.

Both know better days are ahead of them as basketball players.

&uot;We have a lot to learn as players,&uot; Newborne said. &uot;It is up to us to listen to the coaches and players to become better athletes.&uot;

Newborne likes to play near the post, which allows him to take a higher percentage shot. He concedes his footwork and ball handling need to improve.

Natchez coach Bobby Holder works with the two players on a daily basis.

&uot;They still make sophomore mistakes,&uot; Holder said. &uot;We have high expectations here and we expect more from these two. They are still learning but play with a great deal of effort.&uot;

Part of the continual improvement is the desire to play a &uot;complete&uot; game.

&uot;There are flashes of what they can do on the court,&uot; Holder said. &uot;Playing a complete game will not come unless there is repetition in practice. We want the guys to act instinctively instead of having to think before each move. Once instinct takes over, they will become faster, better players.&uot;

Coach Mike Martin thinks the future is bright for both players. Martin credits their good attitudes and willingness to work as attributes.

&uot;Sophomores are playing for respect and more playing time,&uot; Martin said, &uot;These guys are hungry. If they will carry that into the 11th and 12th grade, they will become good basketball players.&uot;

As the Bulldogs prepare for Friday’s battle with district foe Forest Hill,

Jarvis and Newborne show a quiet confidence.

&uot;The team has to be focused and motivate each other as the game goes on,&uot; Newborne said. &uot;If we play like we did against Vidalia, we should be all right.&uot;