Being a good shooting team isn’t all a girls basketball team needs to be successful. It’s also especially important to have an inside presence and Jahia Jennings has started to emerge as one of two big threats for Horseshoe Bend.
Jennings had back-to-back double-digit performances and she is the Outlook Player of the Week.
“She’s awesome at getting a rebound and putting it back in,” Horseshoe Bend coach Erica Meigs said. “That’s where most of her shots come off is those trash shots, just putting it back in. She is able to rebound on both ends, offensive and defensive. Her height has really helped on the inside.”
Despite being just a junior, Jennings has shown off some leadership on the court in big moments. In the Generals’ narrow victory over Woodland in an important Class 2A Area 9 game, Jennings had several key baskets to help keep the Bobcats at bay.
Trailing by double figures, Woodland started to make a comeback late in the second quarter and into the third. The Bobcats scored nine straight to cut their deficit down to just four points but then Jennings exploded. She scored six in a row and eight of the next nine for the Generals to once again push their lead to double figures.
“She does really well in those big moments and that’s not the first game that she’s done that in,” Meigs said. “She’ll get in there and add that little spark that we need. I guess she rubs off on everybody else too because she’ll hustle and put those extra baskets in and it just starts the rest of us rolling.”
Jennings was just two rebounds shy of a double-double against Woodland as she finished with a team-high 15 points, and she also contributed a 10-point performance in a narrow loss to the Class 4A Alabama Christian Academy on Friday night. And she did all of that coming off the bench.
Now Jennings has really provided that offensive spark as one of the first off the bench, Meigs wants to see her work on her defense even more.
“I just want to see her become a more well-rounded player,” she said.
Jennings is also a top hitter for the Horseshoe Bend volleyball team and with her height and her jumping ability, the two sports have seemed to go hand in hand.
“I think with her volleyball, the jumping really helps with her rebounding,” Meigs said. “She’s been in the weight room this past summer too so that’s helped out a lot with her getting stronger inside which is something we’ve needed.”
With Jennings being just a junior, Meigs thinks her potential is really strong and she even sees Jennings potentially playing at the collegiate level.
“I just want to see her continue to improve,” Meigs said. “And if she wants to play somewhere, I hope that she’ll continue to improve and work for that and do well.”