Troy recreation team prepared for state tournament

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, March 7, 2013

On Friday, one Troy sports team will do something that none before them have done. The 12-and-under girls recreation basketball team will take the floor in Gadsden for the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association state tournament.

That moment will mark the first time a recreation league girls basketball team from Troy has taken part in the state tournament. The girls team, who recently captured the district title in Eufaula, has the benefit of a variety of coaches.

Two former collegiate players, Dyneshia Jones and Mario Davenport, have handled the majority of the coaching duties during the final week of preparation.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I can play basketball and can teach the fundamentals,” said Jim English, head coach of the 12u team. “But as far as plays and such, I am a little lost. I would have to look up some things and try to learn them myself, then teach them to the kids. Mario and Dyneshia know exactly what to do.”

In the final quarter of the game, recreation league teams are allowed to play press defense. The press allows teams to play tight full court defense to try to get teams to make a mistake while bringing the ball up the floor.

Jones, the head coach of the Charles Henderson varsity girls team, has years of experience as a basketball coach, and has implemented ways of being able to beat the press defense.

“Dyneshia has a daughter on the team, and has helped a lot,” said English. “She showed them what to do in certain situations. There is a proper way to break the press and I think we are better prepared than we were at district.”

The girls trailed the majority of the district championship game against Eufaula, but a late timeout changed the fortunes for the Troy team. English told his team that he needed them to play “as hard as you possibly can” for the remainder of the game.

Troy came from behind and captured the title, advancing to the state tournament in the process.

“I fully believe that this team can win the tournament,” said English. “They have worked really hard and are very skilled. We have an advantage in the height department, so I like our chances. I told them to be proud regardless of what happens, because they have already accomplished something that has never happened before.”

The 12-and-under boys team also advanced to the tournament as well. The tournament gets underway on Friday.