Player Feature: JD Rawls, Mt. Morris
Tuesday night JD Rawls turned in a performance his Mt. Morris community hasn’t seen in a while, 66 years to be exact. The Mt. Morris senior guard put up 42 points breaking his school record of 40 points set back in 1952.
A 42 point performance alone draws plenty of attention. But two other key factors have to be mentioned as well. More importantly Mt. Morris won the game 74-57 over Otisville Lakeville, something the Panthers haven’t done much of over the last couple of years. Coach Steve Perryman has his program rolling this year and the Panthers are off to a 5-1 start with Rawls leading the way. “He’s been part of a six win and five win team as a sophomore and junior, JD and his teammates are hungry for success,” said Coach Perryman.
“We are 5-1 this year and that’s because we have picked up our defensive pressure. We are putting more pressure on teams, forcing turnovers, which is allowing us to get out and run in transition,” added Rawls.
The second key factor to mention from Tuesday’s game is the 6-foot guard did more than just put the ball in the basket. He also registered 8 assist, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals. But those numbers have been nothing new for Rawls. Through five games Rawls is averaging 27 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assist, and 3 steals. As a junior he also filled up the stat sheet with 17 pts, 6 boards, and 5 assist per game.
“He’s had to carry us at times last year, this year he has more help. He plays with a chip on his shoulder, and his teammates have learned to follow his lead,” Perryman spoke on Rawls.
Rawls is a dynamic player that plays with that attack mentality. “I am a shifty guard, I can get to the basket and finish. I see the floor well and I love to play defense. Defense is a big part of my game,” described Rawls.
After a strong start Rawls and Mt. Morris now have their sites on other goals. “I want to win a league and district championship,” said Rawls.
Rawls ability to fill it up while still being a complete player, along with his leadership skills have allowed the senior to become a college prospect. “I stay in the gym and try to improve my game to get to the next level. I want to continue to play basketball at the next level,” stated Rawls.
Rawls is on the right path as he continues to show college coaches he has what it takes. Like year’s past he continues to put up big numbers like his school record 42 point performance. The only difference is Rawls is now leading Mt. Morris to wins.