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PCHS boys hope to extend

season past Area Tourney

By STEVEN G. WATSON

Sports Editor

It won’t be an easy road, but for the Bulldogs it’s a chance to extend their season into the playoffs and that’s all that matters right now.

In Pike County most of the talk is about the Lady Bulldogs and their unbelievable run to start the season, but one team that might have gone unnoticed is a much improved boys’ team under the watchful eye of head coach David Buehler.

The Bulldogs are 4-2 in Class 4A Area 3 play and despite a slow start, that included as much as a 10-game losing streak before the Christmas Break, they have seen their share of success. They defeated arch-rival Goshen on the road, and in the month of January have become a much stronger team.

Buehler says his squad isn’t really caring about their wins and losses. They just want to keep playing. And as much as they’ve improved in January who knows how much better they can be in February as tournament-time approaches.

"They don’t think about it, they just want to go out and play," Buehler said. "These kids, to them they’ve had a great time.

"We’ve played well in the month of January and I’ve been very proud of them," he continued. "We’re a much better basketball team than we were at the first of the year. Anybody that’s watched us should know that. You can’t ask for any more than that, because we haven’t been blown out in the entire month."

Going into the Area Tournament, that will be hosted in Daleville, the Bulldogs will be a No. 2 seed. They will have to face off against Geneva or Dale County in the first round, two teams they’ve already beaten twice.

That doesn’t give Buehler that much confidence going in, however. He knows how helter skelter the playoffs and Area Tournaments can be when everything is on the line.

"I’m scared to death," he said. "When you talk about the Area Tournament you get scared. It’s just wide open so you can’t feel comfortable. I don’t think any coach does."

That do-or-die stress of performing in Area Tournaments when only two teams move on is obvious with most coaches, but Buehler feels that his kids, though young will deal with it well.

"They were telling me they want to play more games," Buehler said. "They really just want to go out and play. I don’t think they think about it like coaches do. We try to think about every situation, every possibility, these kids don’t they just want to play ball."

Even though his team has beaten both teams that they will have to defeat in order to secure a Sub-State berth, Buehler feels they are a long way from being "in the clear."

"The thing about it, you make one little mistake or you have one bad night, and your done," he said. "Anybody can beat anybody and I’ve seen it. I’ve seen teams go 8-15 and go to the final four in Birmingham.

"On a good night we play very hard and we can beat people, but the thing is we have to play a complete game," he added. "We’re so young and you never know who’s going to show up."