Goshen must focus on Georgiana tonight

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 8, 2000

Sports Writer

With many fans eagerly anticipating Saturday night’s showdown against cross county rival Pike County, the Goshen Eagles has some very important business to take care of concerning the long range goal – reaching the state tournament.

The Eagles will open area play tonight when they host the Georgiana Panthers in the first area game of the 2000-2001 season. Tipoff (beginning with the B-Team game) is set for 5 p.m. at Eagle Gym in Goshen. This will be Goshen’s first action since last Thursday night when they opened the season with a 67-46 home victory over Luverne.

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The Panthers are already 1-0 in

area play following an impressive road victory over Highland Home Tuesday night. Georgiana will be coming in trying to establish a half court game in an attempt to take advantage of its tremendous size in the paint and keeping the explosive transition game of the Eagles from getting started.

Goshen head coach Major Lane, who is only three victories from his 200th career win, said it’s important for the Eagles not to get trapped into playing a half court game against the Panthers.

"Georgiana is a physical team that’s almost like a college sized team," Lane said. "They like to rotate seven players. But we are going to do the things that Goshen does well. We need to get the ball inside, but I also want to fill it up outside. We want to dictate what we want to do."

Lane said it’s important for Eagle fans to understand how tonight’s game against Georgiana will set the tone for the remainder of the eight game area schedule.

"Friday night is more important as far as we’re concerned," Lane said. "We cannot go out and experiment because it’s an area game. Each area game is very important and its very significant for us to get off to a good start since we also host Straughn next week."

In order to knock off the Panthers, Lane said the Eagles (1-0 overall) must defend, rebound and run the floor well.

"We have to defend, block out, and run the floor so we can push the issue against this team," Lane said. "We have to be aggressive. We don’t know much about them so we’re going to have to adjust as we go. We’ve just got to be ready to play."

GHS Girls ready to resume as well: Meanwhile, the Lady Eagles will also do a two-step this weekend when they host Georgiana and travel to Pike County.

The Goshen girls are coming off a hard fought 37-32 victory over the Luverne Lady Tigers in its season opener, equaling their entire win total from last season.

The Lady Panthers are coming off a tough six point loss to Highland Home, who made it to the Elite Eight in the Southeast Regionals last winter.

First year head coach Charlie Winchester said the Lady Eagles are not looking past Georgiana.

"I think the girls are excited about playing an area game," Winchester said. "It’s important for us, being an underdog, that we have to get off to a good start."

With a young team featuring several freshmen and sophomores, Winchester said it’s important for Goshen to play excellent basketball at home.

"It makes it even bigger because it’s an area game at home," Winchester said. "We have to win all of our games at home and try to win some on the road."

Winchester said the key to tonight’s outcome is shutting down Georgiana’s powerful inside game.

"They have a forward who finds a way to score inside," Winchester said. "If they get the ball inside and we don’t deny the pass, they will score. But we’ve worked on getting physical and playing well inside this week. We’ve had a good week of practice because our aggressiveness and toughness is coming along."