JCJC Remains Undefeated, Zuppardo Continues to Flourish - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

JCJC Remains Undefeated, Zuppardo Continues to Flourish

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What the Jones County Junior College men's basketball team lacks in experience, it certainly makes up for it with talent.

Head coach Jay Ladner has the No. 25 Bobcats sitting at 8-0 to start the season, with just one game remaining in 2013.

That comes against the William Carey JV squad on Tuesday.

The schedule then calls for a 20 day layoff over the holidays, which could make or break the season for the Bobcats.

"Like I said, I guess the closing thought is in junior college we have to take off so much time for Christmas - we basically have two different seasons," says Ladner. "How we handle the holidays will have a direct effect on our success in the second half - or success or failure - and that remains to be seen."

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A big part of the Bobcats' success in the first half of the season can be attributed to Johnny Zuppardo.

The 6'9" forward is a double-double machine, averaging over 14 points and eight rebounds per game.

Last week he turned it up another notch, and he was rewarded appropriately.

For the second week in a row the sophomore takes home MACJC player of the week honors, this time for logging 19 points and 16 rebounds per game over the team's last two contests.

In a somewhat unique scenario, both player and coach celebrate the recognition.

"Johnny and I have a long relationship - had the opportunity to coach him back at St. Stanislaus," says Ladner.

"It's a great benefit having Coach Ladner on the coaching staff," says Zuppardo. "He was the man when I was in high school. It's great working with him. I love working with him."

"He's been a tremendous leader for us," says Ladner. "He's one of our tri-captains and has really played at a high level, particularly over the last couple of weeks, so I was really proud of him for being awarded that honor and for other people to recognize how well he's been playing, but we're really proud of him and like I said he's been playing very well."

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