Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 31, 2002
Coin toss sends CHHS to Eufaula for area tourney
By KEVIN PEARCEY
Not much rides on the flip of a coin these days.
But if two teams just happen to end up tied for first place in the area at the end of regular season play, the AHSAA still relies on this age old method of decision making to determine the site of the area tournament.
Such was the case this season with Charles Henderson High School and Eufaula.
Such was the case last season with Charles Henderson High School and Eufaula.
And exactly like last season, the Trojans lost the coin toss.
But CHHS head coach Carl Hollis feels this may be a "blessing in disguise" for his team, which has lost four of its last seven ball games.
"We seem to play much better on the road then we do here at home," he said. "And in an area tournament the referees are neutral. There’s no homecourt advantage in an area tournament. There’s a homecourt advantage for the fans, but that’s about it."
The Trojans close out regular season play on Friday night at home with Enterprise High School. They then go on the road to play Barbour County in the regular season finale on Feb. 5, before area tournament play starts on Feb. 9 in Eufaula. The girls tournament will also be played in Eufaula, starting one day earlier on Feb. 8.
But the Trojans had a fight on their hand last Friday night at Carroll-Ozark, just to force the issue of a coin toss. The Eagles are the third team in the three-team area and came close to beating CHHS, only to fall 55-51 in the fourth quarter.
Qua Davis had 19 points to lead the Trojans with Terrance Hooten adding 11. Starting guard Lakory Daniels finished with only six points and fouled out during the game, as did fellow guard and defensive workhorse Deandra Carlisle.
Brandon Newman scored 20 points to lead the Eagles.
The Trojans will play Carroll again in the first round of the area tournament.
"We have a good chance of beating Eufaula, but we can’t take Carroll lightly," said Hollis. "A team like Carroll will come out and get after you, because they don’t have a lot to lose."
Hollis spent much of a Wednesday afternoon practice session running his team.
"Lay it on the line!" he yelled as the squad sprinted up and down the basketball court during fastbreak drills. Each time a player failed to jump for a rebound or allowed the ball to touch the court, he owed the head coach a sprint.
"They may not know much about basketball after this, but they’ll know they’re tired," he said. "And I’m tired of this ‘one pass and shoot the basketball’ mentality we’ve got. Most teams are patient and let the defense come to them. We’ve got a few (players) on this team that want to shine more then others. We can’t have that."
Hollis is also trying to instill in his team some of the ‘old-school’ toughness he learned as a four-year starter for Troy State in 1973-77.
While running a scrimmage on Wednesday one Trojan player had his shot blocked and smiled as he walked back on the court.
"You owe me a sprint," said Hollis. "I want you tough. I don’t want you smiling when somebody blocks your shot."
The Trojans were supposed to play Booker T. Washington at home in a make-up game last Saturday, but it was cancelled. Likewise, Hollis had scheduled a contest against fourth-ranked Stanhope-Elmore for Tuesday night in the CHHS Gymnasium. It was also unable to be played.
"Stanhope would have been a good game for us," said Hollis. "They’re tough. It would have done two things for this team – either bring them out of their shell or put them deeper down into it."
Tipoff against Enterprise is at 4:30 p.m. with B-team boys action.