POWERS — North Central High School. For their fans, the Jets form of basketball is like poetry in motion. So how would you describe their style of play? Head Coach Adam Mercier calls it “sharing is caring”.
“We share the basketball. We share the experiences that all high school athletes should love. These guys do it in a tremendous way. They’re mature for being high school students. They know the importance of getting along. The camaraderie is great with this team and they showcase that on the floor for 32 minutes every game we play,” Mercier said.
When it comes to their play on the court, the Jets sometimes find themselves up 20 to 30 points at halftime. So how do they stay motivated when they look unstoppable?
“We just love to play the game. It doesn’t matter what the score is. We love going out there, playing basketball and just being with each other, and that’s probably the best part,” said forward Jason Whitens.
“We just focus on getting the win. We don’t care how. If we have a blowout, we don’t worry about that. We just forget about that game. Then we go to the next one and just worry about that game. We just go game by game,” guard Dawson Bilski said.
“We just got to play every game like it’s our last. Even if they’re bad or good. We just got to play like any other game and push ourselves,” said center Morgan Cox.
“They set their own goals before a game starts. We usually set three goals that we try to maintain throughout the game, no matter what the score is. These kids focus all the time on the team we’re playing. We don’t look past any team,” Mercier said.
The Jets are currently the best show in town and they’ve be gaining more support over the past couple of years from the entire Upper Peninsula.
“It means a lot, knowing that we have the support of the community, the families, just everyone. And other communities coming up to us and saying “We’re rooting for you. Hopefully you get back down there.” And that just means a lot to us that we have that support and that just makes us work ten times harder,” Whitens said.
“I guess it puts a little bit of pressure on us but at the same time, pushes us more to succeed and win this game,” said Cox.
Like them or love them, the Jets have been the gold standard of high school basketball in the Upper Peninsula and they will have no regrets because they did it in their own unique way.
“It’s been fun and these kids make it that much more enjoyable. Sometimes you just got to roll with the ball and get out of their way. That’s what makes them so great to coach. Sometimes they’ll communicate with you in way that I don’t think many high school players would,” said Mercier.
“The love for the game is immense right now. We love going out and playing for the highest goal which is a state championship and with this group of guys, it just means ever more just to go out and have fun,” Whitens said.
Tip–off for Saturday’s Class D state final game will be at 10 a.m. and it will be streaming live online at MHSAA.tv. The Jets will take on Waterford Our Lady.