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PCHS looks to rebound at home

The Pike County Bulldogs will open 2010 with their first area game of the season tonight when they take on the Headland Rams in Brundidge.

The Rams will also be playing their first game of 2010, although the last few months of 2009 were much kinder to Headland than they were to the Bulldogs from Brundidge.

Headland has already won more than ten games this season, and is led by potential all-state player Jeremy McKay.

“They’re just a really good basketball team,” said PCHS head coach William Moguel. “They’ve got a couple guys in Jeremy McKay and Jahwon Williams who are very talented. I Know McKay is probably averaging about 30 points a game, but they’re both good players. We’re really going to have to play sharp defense.”

Pike County, meanwhile, enters area play on a little bit of a down note. The Bulldogs have not played since a 79-54 loss to Pensacola in the first round of the Dothan Eagle/Dothan Progress Holiday Prep Classic back on Dec. 26.

PCHS has used the break to work on taking its time offensively and improving defensively.

“We’ve really been working on being more patient and playing better defense,” Moguel said. “Against Pensacola, we had 30 turnovers because of a press that we could have easily broken if we had just been more patient. I also felt like our hustle fell off as the game went along and we have to keep our effort up for an entire game.”

Improved defensive play will be necessary, as Headland has developed a reputation as a sharp-shooting team.

“We know they’ve been shooting the lights out,” Moguel said. “You really can’t leave them alone, so we know not to give them any space at all.”

While tonight’s game does mark the start of area play, Pike County is approaching it as it would any other game.

“We’re not really treating this one a whole lot different than any of the others we’ve played this year or will play coming up,” Moguel said. “Every game is the most important game because it’s the next game.”

Despite Pike County’s struggles thus far this season, Moguel said the team does have a chance to be competitive in the area this season if the team improves in a few key areas.

“We’ve got to do the little things right like being there on defense and knowing where to go on offense,” Moguel said. “Athletically, I feel like we match up with anyone else in the area, and if we continue to get better from game to game, we’ll have a chance.”

Pike County and Headland will play three games today, with the junior varsity boys tipping off at 4:30 and the varsity girls and boys following that.