Dogs, Eagles battle at Trojan Arena

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 1, 2002

Sports Editor

Pike County and Goshen will take its annual basketball grudge match to Troy State University’s Trojan Arena on Saturday night. The last time this game was played in Troy was on Dec. 13, 1998, with the Eagles winning a close one, 61-60.

Tipoff is at 5 p.m. for B-team action with girls and boys varsity to follow.

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The Eagles will be looking to make it four in a row over its in-county rival. GHS won the first match in Brundidge on Jan. 19, 46-40, and both games last season.

"We’re just looking forward to playing there," said Goshen head coach Major Lane about his team’s first game in Trojan Arena in over three years. "No matter that this is a big rivalry for us, but it’s almost time for the second season and playing in these large venues will help us down the road."

Lane is referring to the fact that the AHSAA regional tournaments are played at the state’s lower level colleges and universities with seating capacities sometimes near 5,000.

That makes for a big arena, something high school basketball players – accustomed to smaller, more intimate settings – aren’t usually ready for.

"I believe playing in the Dothan tournament at the Civic Center helped us last season and I believe it will help us again this year," Lane said. The Eagles played four games at the Dothan Progress/Eagle Holiday Prep Classic prior to the new year, falling to Dothan High in the championship contest, 67-37.

The Eagles used a 12-of-14 shooting night from the foul line to edge the Bulldogs in the last game. Pike County, meanwhile, hit only five free throws in 15 trips to the charity stripe.

"That’s one of the areas we’ve been doing well with," said Lane about Goshen’s foul shooting.

Lane said prior to the last contest that PCHS head coach Danny Suber would attempt to keep the Eagles’ shot attempts at a minimum and the plan nearly worked. Goshen led only 17-16 at the half.

"I’m sure he’ll (Suber) try and use the same strategy," said Lane. "He had a great game plan to slow us down."

Suber feels his squad just let too many opportunities slip by the last time out against Goshen.

"We had our chances to win and we should have won," he said. "That was one of those nights where I saw our team at the point where are team needs to always be. I don’t think we played over our heads that night, I think we played the kind of ball that I envision us playing."

The Lady Eagles will also be looking to win their second straight over Pike County. Winners of six of their last seven, Goshen beat the Lady Bulldogs 48-45 on Jan. 19.