OHS senior Jemal Davis has been clutch for the Brahmans all year, including a game-tying, three-point shot in the final seconds of Okeechobee’s game against Westwood.
After winning their last two games, including an overtime thriller against Westwood, the Okeechobee Brahman varsity basketball team is set for a much- anticipated rematch against district rival Jensen Beach on Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. in the OHS gym.
Jensen Beach knocked Okeechobee out of the playoffs last year with a 45-44 win in the district semifinals, cutting short what had been a promising Brahman season up until that point.
When OHS senior Jemal Davis signed to Warner College back on Nov. 14, he singled out the Jensen game as something he was looking forward to.
“Right now I have a thing for them,” said Davis. “I’m ready to get back at them and get back into the game. We’re not losing this year; I got that in my heart. This year we’re going on a run. There’s no stopping us.”
True to his word, the Brahman varsity basketball team has put together another successful season, going 16-4 despite losing head coach Demetre Riles, who stepped down earlier this year.
Before leaving, Riles acknowledged that the Jensen rematch was going to be a big motivator for the team this year.
“That game last year lit a fire in the team,” said coach Riles of the heartbreaking loss. “And that fire is still lit. It’s a good thing we don’t play Jensen until the end of the year, so that fire can burn all season. This guys have something to work for, they have goals and they’re going to be ready.”
Jemal Davis proved how dangerous of a player he can be near the end of Okeechobee’s game against Westwood on Jan. 25.
The Brahmans were down 42-45 with only 7 seconds remaining in the game when OHS junior Silas Madrigal swung the ball out to Davis, who proceeded to calmly hit the game-tying three-pointer with only 5 seconds left. That sent the game into overtime, where the Brahmans were able to take care of business and win 55-51. Davis had 15 points and 12 rebounds against Westwood, while last week’s Athlete of the Week J-Quan Ferrol had 21 points and 11 rebounds.
After the Jensen Beach match-up, Okeechobee will have three more games in the regular season, including two against fellow Lake Okeechobee schools. Okeechobee will host Moore Haven on Feb. 4 before traveling to Clewiston on Feb. 6. The Brahmans will end their regular season on Feb. 8 against Berean Christian.