Charles Henderson looking
Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 26, 1999
for role players as they travel
to Dothan for Progress Tourney
By STEVEN G. WATSON
Dec. 25, 1999 11 PM
The Charles Henderson Trojans will be playing in one of the biggest holiday tournaments in the state and their coach is calling on fans not to lose faith because of the team’s early 4-6 record.
While CHHS has lost six games in the early going, the Trojans have played what could best be described as the "cream of the crop" as far as area basketball is concerned. With ranked opponents like Jeff Davis and Abbeville head coach Carl Hollis has put his team through an early schedule that most would cringe at.
Time and time again he has said after hard-fought losses that his team will eventually gain from the experience and some of that is evident in his team’s play. Now, he wants support for his group as they go to play in the prestigious Dothan Progress Tournament in Dothan.
"We need some spectators to go with us to it because that’s such a big tournament," Hollis said. "We need some support from the parents and the fans here in Troy to come down and give our kids a chance. We haven’t been doing as well as we usually do, but we’re going to get there.
This is probably one of the nicest high school tournaments in the state of Alabama," he continued. "It’s a first class tournament played at the Civic Center and it will take a lot for us to compete with some of the teams involved."
The Trojans have drawn Hollis’ old alma mater Headland in the first round of the tournament. The coach said flat out, he doesn’t want his old school to beat them.
"We beat them last year by about 25 points, but we’re going to see a different ball club this year," Hollis said. "I understand they have one player that has scored 40 points in back-to-back games. That lets me know that he is consistent scoring. He’s an inside guy, about 6-foot-6 so we’re going to have to work hard to keep the ball out of his hands. That looks like where the coach is going every time. We’re going to have to work real hard to shut him down and play better defense all over the court."
In the first 10 games that CHHS has played two players have emerged as the Trojans’ goto guys on the hardwood in Rory Murphy and Marcus Williams. Williams has been the inside presence for the Trojans standing 6-foot-5 while Murphy has shown a shooter’s touch for CHHS and an ability to penetrate defenses.
Hollis wants his two senior starters to learn to play better together and feels when they become the role players he needs it will make the rest of his team stronger as a whole.
"Rory penetrates better than anyone I’ve got to the goal, but he’s got to learn how to see Williams a lot better before he penetrates," Hollis said. "When he catches that ball on the corner Williams is wide open on the block, but he very seldom gives it to him. He penetrates and draws the defense, now he’s got to learn to dish and get the job done.
"Those are the guys who have got to be role players," he added. "You’ve got to get the ball in the hands of the players that can get the job done, that’s the key to winning. We’ve played a lot of tight ball games and a lot of those we should have won. They’ve got to understand the key to playing is just to win, especially when you have the opportunity."