• 57°

Bulldogs take on Pensacola in holiday tournament

Today marks the start of the 27th annual Dothan Eagle/Dothan Progress Holiday Prep Classic in Ozark, and the Pike County Bulldogs will once again be a part of the field.

The Bulldogs have been a traditional participant in the tournament, and recognize the importance of playing in a tournament such as the Prep Classic.

While it is important for PCHS to have a strong showing, PCHS head coach William Moguel said the Bulldogs are preparing just as they would for a normal regular season game.

“We try to think of every game as being very important,” Moguel said. “We know this is a big deal, but we place an emphasis on every game, whether it be a regular season game or a tournament game or what have you.”

Pike County will be challenged by the other 15 teams in the field, which include Brantley, Bullock County, Eufaula, Butler Magnet, Barbour County, Andalusia, Pensacola, Randolph-Clay, Robertsdale, Enterprise, Elba, Carroll, Straughn, Whitefield Academy and Charles Henderson.

The Bulldogs open with Pensacola Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

“Traditionally, this has a very tough field,” Moguel said. “I know most of the teams in this tournament are very tough teams. With our opening-round opponent Pensacola, it’s hard to find out a whole lot about them since they are from Florida, but we’re preparing the best we can.”

Despite being unfamiliar with Pensacola, The Bulldogs will still do their best to be prepared come Saturday.

“We’ve just got to keep working,” Moguel said. “We’re just going to try and get better at doing what we do. Everybody knows that we’ve had a tough schedule, but we’ll get through it.”

Part of trying to be prepared for Saturday has had a tough schedule, but we’ll get through it.”

Part of trying to be prepared for Saturday has included the team practicing over the Christmas break.

“Oh, we went this week,” Moguel said.

“We broke for Christmas, but when you have to make a commitment to basketball, so we definitely practiced this week.”

PCHS has already taken on four of the teams in the tournament, and is 1-3 against those teams, with its only win being a 54-52 win over Bullock County back on Dec. 17.

While that win boosted the Bulldogs to just 2-4 on the young season, Moguel said the Bulldogs’ performance in that game is a good omen for the rest of the season.

“When we played Bullock County, that was probably the best game we’ve played all year,” Moguel said.

“We took good shots and we were able to knock them down. Also, that was as good a game defensively as we’ve played. I really saw some things that bode well for us as we get ready to start area play after the first of the year.”

Hopefully for PCHS, that performance against Bullock County can pay dividends against Pensacola.

“We’re going to try and do exactly what we’ve been doing,” Moguel said.

“We will hustle and play tough defense, and just let our shots fall where they may.”

Pike County and Pensacola tip off at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, with the winner advancing to the quarterfinals on Tuesday.