A little preseason thoughts on area hoops
Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 9, 2001
With basketball action just kicking up around the area, I thought I’d take this time to lend some of my thoughts on the upcoming season.
Again, these are my thoughts and in no way represent the collective opinions of the Messenger and its staff.
However, I do suppose this column represents the opinion of the Messenger sports staff in general, which when narrowed down consists of one sports editor and a few part time stringers who you can count on one hand. Try it, if you’d like. One. Two. Done.
By the way…
Why can’t life be like an Otis Redding song?
I mean, who wouldn’t want to spend their days "(Sitting on) The Dock of the Bay"?
"Watching the ships roll in/then I watch them roll away again…"
Sorry. I was thinking about vacation last summer. Seven days of surf, sand and sleep. Lots and lots of sleep.
Team most likely to make a return trip to the Final Four: Who else? Goshen. Although the Eagles lost a lot of seniors, including 6-4 , "Make ’em say Uhhh", shot blocker Jamar Tucker, Goshen’s just reloading. Junior Kendaris Pelton will probably have enough college invite letters to use for wallpaper by this time next year. Averick Rogers is back, as is Wesley Wright. Throw in Luverne transfer, senior Ge-Vonne Cooper, at the point and some added depth in the middle with big Damoreo Green, Quez Burden and former Brantley player Lionel Freeman, and the Eagles are making plans for Birmingham. So they lost an area game to Georgiana on Friday night? So what. Rematch comes on Jan. 3.
Team most likely to surprise everybody by getting there: CHHS. Someone told Trojans’ head coach Carl Hollis that he wouldn’t win a game all season prior to the beginning of the year. Ha. They’ve won four so far, so take that nay-sayer. As if this coaching and former Troy police veteran needed any added motivation. Hollis will have one of the best conditioned teams in South Alabama and he’s going to baptize them in fire come Dec. 26-29 when the Trojans head east to the Acadome to play the state’s elite. CHHS should make the regionals at Troy State. Make it to the finals and the state will be asking, "what the heck?"
Team that’s surprised me the most so far: The Lady Trojans of CHHS. Following two straight losses, including a 72-15 barbecue at the hands of Jeff Davis, Coach Dyneshia Jones’ girls have bounced back to win two straight. They showed they could do some grilling of their own with a 44-22 win over Bullock County last Tuesday night and then clinch the close ones as well with Saturday’s 43-40 nailbiter over 6A Northview.
Team(s) most likely suffering football hangovers: How difficult of a job is it to get some kids ready to play basketball? I don’t know. Just ask Pike County boy’s head coach Danny Suber and girl’s head man Leroy Bryant. The Bulldogs’ football team made it to the semifinal round and had dreams of reaching the Super Six, only to see Tarrant advance with a 21-13 victory. High school football in Alabama is draining, both emotionally and physically. Getting ready to do it all over again for basketball, especially after coming so close on the gridiron, may seem like a let down.
Basketball game you don’t want to miss: Not PCHS vs. Goshen. Not PLAS-Dixie. Not CHHS-Andalusia. Surprise, it’s not even an in-county contest. Check out the Thursday sports section of the Dothan Eagle. Look at the big, red and green, tournament bracket in the middle of the front page. Move your eyes to the upper right hand corner. See the two teams squaring off on Wednesday, Dec. 26 at 9 p.m. in the opening round of the Dothan Progress/Eagle Holiday Prep Classic? That’s right. Abbeville vs. Randolph-Clay. This year’s Abbeville team has got talent reminiscent of a few year’s back when Chris Porter ran with the Yellow Jackets. They’ve been bombing all-comer’s this season by 30 or more points. Randolph-Clay of Georgia has won five straight Holiday Prep Classics. Notable alumni of that school? Former Florida star Donnell Harvey and current TSU point guard Robert Rushing.
Song most likely to be played over and over again at a basketball game: Rapper Nelly’s "No. 1".
So what does it take to be No. 1?
Commitment, dedication, hard work and lots of luck.
We’ll watch what happens as the season progresses.