Mountainburg's Gregory has big week as Dragons claim pair of victories

Buck Ringgold
Times Record
Mountainburg's Ethan Gregory goes up for the shot against Paris at home on Dec. 3, 2020. The Dragons (13-3, 5-1) picked up a conference win on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, as Gregory led his team with 18 points. He's the Times Record Athlete of the Week.

Ethan Gregory admitted it was tough for him to sit out the entire basketball season his junior year at Mountainburg, due to an injury.

Gregory, however, has recovered in time for his senior year and is glad to be back on the court. The Dragons feel the same way.

A point guard and three-year starter, Gregory turned in two big performances to help Mountainburg claim a pair of 2A-4 conference wins.

On Jan. 12, Gregory led the Dragons with 29 points as Mountainburg picked up a 64-53 win at Mansfield. On Friday, he was the team's leading scorer once again as he had 18 as the Dragons (13-3, 5-1 2A-4) won at home against Acorn, 58-39.

Mountainburg is in a tie for first place in league play.

"I wanted to just make sure everyone was healthy and locked in because we knew they were big conference games," said Gregory, who was  named the Times Record's Athlete of the Week . 

Gregory tore his ACL playing football as a junior, which forced him to miss the entire basketball season.

"(The recovery process) was hard at first, and it slowly got better, but I knew if I wanted to play sports again, I had to keep pushing," he said. "It was amazing to get back on the court and play the sport I love."

Gregory has come back in a huge way. He is averaging 21 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.9 assists and three steals per game.

"Ethan missing last season was a big blow to our team, but we were able to get other guys some valuable experience," Dragons coach Michael McDonald said. "His return this season has been a big boost to our team.

"He makes things easier for his teammates, and changes the way teams have to prepare for us and defend us. He makes play after play for us on both ends of the floor."

In addition to making his recovery from his injury, Gregory worked on honing his basketball skills in the off-season.

"I focused on my outside shot, free throws and finishing around the basket," Gregory said.

Those things were working well in last week's wins.

Gregory added his ability to dribble drive and distributing the ball to his teammates for open looks were key factors. Three Dragons - including Gregory -  reached double figures in both wins last week.

"I like this team, because we have good team chemistry, and no one is selfish," Gregory said.

The Dragons have another big conference game this Tuesday, playing at home against Lavaca. In order for Mountainburg to win conference and make a run at postseason play, Gregory noted it depends on two things.

"Everyone being locked in and everyone staying healthy," he said.