Edison gains momentum
BY BARRY LEWIS World Sports Writer
Monday, January 21, 2013
1/21/13 at 3:55 AM
Edison, sparked by senior guard Don Simmons' return, will carry momentum into a very challenging week.
The Eagles, No. 7 in the Class 5A rankings, defeated No. 1 Memorial 58-51 and Webster 53-48 last week.
"This week was for us to come together as a group since we had been missing Don," junior forward Darius Speaks said. "We had to come together."
Brian and Darius Speaks each had 27 points in the two games. Brian, a 6-foot-6 senior, is averaging 16.5 points and 9.5 rebounds. Darius, a 6-5 junior, is averaging 14.8 points.
"It was a big week," Brian Speaks said. "The Memorial win was good for us.
"We're not anywhere near where we need to be, but we'll get there."
The pair enabled the Eagles (8-5) to survive while Simmons, who averages 18.4 points, served a pair of suspensions.
"With Don out, Darius really carried the load for us offensively a lot," Edison coach Michael Parish said. "I really think that helped mature his game some offensively.
"Brian is a foundation that we can rely on. He gives us rebounding and has a great motor. Those two guys were able to keep our team alive while we were waiting for Simmons to get back. I give them a lot of credit for leading our team every day and not just on game night."
Parish is excited about his team's possibilities with Simmons back in the lineup.
"I don't think we're very good right now, but I can see our potential and we're going to be very dangerous come March if we can just keep moving in the right direction," Parish said.
"With Simmons on the floor it really opens up some things. He gives us more ways to score. It also gives us a closer at the free-throw line. We're tougher to beat in close games when free throws are so much a part of winning them."
Although the Eagles struggled offensively at times while Simmons was sidelined, Parish saw some bright spots, including backup guard Charles Harvey gaining valuable experience. Harvey had a key trey in what Parish called a "grind-it-out win" against Webster.
"I've been impressed that even though we have had chemistry issues offensively without Simmons, I really feel our defense has been our staple," Parish said.
Edison hosts 4A No. 5 McLain on Tuesday and then plays in the Jenks-Union Invitational with an opener against 6A No. 11 Edmond Santa Fe on Thursday.
"If we play together as a team, I don't see anyone that can beat us," Brian Speaks said.
Barry Lewis 918-581-8393