JOSHUA — It may be the dog days of summer for Johnson County students, but there’s no rest for the weary among those who play basketball for several area schools.

On Thursday night at Joshua High School, four local teams continued play in the Joshua High School Summer Basketball League.

The Burleson Elks (1-2) led off the action with a 72-52 victory over Granbury, while the Godley Wildcats moved to 2-1 in league play with a 63-57 win over the host Owls.

The Wildcats trailed 34-29 at the half, but rebounded thanks in large part to 26 points from Riley Good to take the lead in the second half.

Joshua head coach Johnny White said his team has a chance to build camaraderie in the summer season and said the team is starting to come together.

“With my team in particular, we’ve got three returners from the varsity, and we’ve got about eight kids up from the JV and freshman squads from last year who are going to be on the varsity,” White said. “They have to learn to play together and figure out their strengths and weaknesses. They’ve got to gel in this round.

“I think we’re accomplishing our goal. The kids are playing together well and I think they’re learning one another and encouraging one another to get better and working with each other trying to make each other better.”

With a wide range of school sizes present in the league, White said the smaller schools still bring the same intensity as the bigger programs.

“I love the talent level here,” White said. “Every program that’s here, whether they’re 2A or 5A, they get after it. [The defenses are] mostly man-to-man. We’ve seen some traps and it’s intense.

“Our main goal is to get these kids in the gym and give them an opportunity to play in the gym and with one another and officiate. What we’re doing is building leadership and building teammates that’ll work together and communicate.”

In the final game of the night, the Keene Chargers remained undefeated in league play at 4-0 after handing Crowley a 44-40 defeat.

The Chargers trailed 27-19 at the half, but rallied to take the win in the final 20 minutes.

Keene head coach Jason Hill said his team is using the league as an opportunity to fine tune a club that is seeking a return trip to the postseason next year.

“The first thing is, we’re trying to play up,” Hill said. “We’re playing with 4As and 5As and a couple of 3As so the kids can see a different style and pace of the game, to make us better for next year. We’re trying to get all the kids we can in here. We’ve got about six or seven back from last year and four or five that are new from the JV.

“Those kids are trying to learn and it seems to me like our first group has gotten better with getting to play against better competition. This second group is starting to see why we do what we do. It’s a different level of basketball they’re not used to.”

In regards to the win, Hill said there are things the team still needs to improve upon to remain the top squad in the league.

“I thought we kind of did pretty good,” Hill said. “We didn’t crash the boards as well as we should’ve, but we did a good job of rotating. We missed some box outs and had some careless turnovers, but that’s just the kids getting used to the speed of the game. It’s good for them to play better competition and bigger schools. I think that’s going to help us out.

Summer play continues on Monday night with the Cleburne Yellow Jackets (1-1) squaring off against Kennedale (2-0) at 5 p.m. and Godley will battle Burleson at 6 p.m.

Keene will play Kennedale at 7 p.m.

All varsity games are played in the The Pit gym at Joshua High School.

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