WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The Jefferson Community College men’s basketball team had a big turnaround on the hardwood in the 2019-2020 season.
The Cannoneers had one of their most successful seasons in recent memory, posting a 16-9 overall record, 7-5 in conference play.
One of the main reasons for their success centered on the play of three area players: South Lewis' Joshua Newman, Indian River's Liam bonk and South Jefferson's Jake Hess.
The trio all averaged in double figures and were a big part in the turnaround on the Coffeen Street campus.
"We were blessed, kind of, in a way, to grab a Jake Hess and a Liam Bonk and a Josh Newman and a Kyle Nichols this year and you know three of those four were starters and the fourth player, Kyle gave us significant minutes later in the year and it really helped,” coach Joe Vaadi said. “Those local kids really made a difference and it helped bring in a little bigger crowd and you know when you play in front of a little bigger crowd, I think the kids play a little harder."
Vaadi says he was surprised by the turnaround, which saw the Cannoneers improve by nine wins and make a nice postseason run in the Region 3 Division 3 tournament.
"I was pleasantly surprised by the first semester -- I wasn't quite sure where we would be, but the boys turned it around and really worked hard and got things going,” he said. “Hopefully we can continue this success now, we were ranked sixth out of 17 teams in the region, we made it to the quarterfinals of the Region 3 tournament."
With nine players returning next season, it looks as if the Cannoneers will be one of the top teams in the Mid-State Athletic Conference and Region 3 in the 2020-21 season.