Pike County controls own destiny for area championship

Published 10:25 pm Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Pike County Bulldogs basketball team finally put together a complete game this season in a 68-48 over region rival Abbeville.

With the win, the Bulldogs move to 2-1 in the area and now control their own destiny in the area race with three home area games remaining. Barbour County, who had been undefeated in area play, fell to Montgomery Catholic on Monday night. If the Bulldogs win their three remaining area games, Pike County will host the area tournament.

After squeaking out wins against Montgomery Catholic and Goshen and falling in the final seconds to Barbour County, Pike County coach Doug Holland said it was nice to play a less stressful game. “Going in to the fourth quarter, we had a big lead,” Holland said. “After playing so many close games, that was a gratifying feeling. We expected the game to be closer, but it always feels good to blow out a rival.”

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After playing its first three area games on the road, the Bulldogs sit at 2-1 in the area and control their own destiny. Holland said things could not have worked out better for Pike County. “Our schedule sets up real well down the stretch and gives us the opportunity to win the area,” Holland said. “We’ve got Catholic, Barbour County and Abbeville coming in to our place. If we win those three games, we win our area. We’re just taking it one game at a time.”

Hosting the area tournament is something that would be special for the entire school. “We haven’t hosted the tournament since 2009,” Holland said. “It would mean a lot to the whole school if we won the area. We have so few seniors on our team that winning the area would give the players confidence for years to come.”

The Bulldogs next play Montgomery Catholic on Tuesday. Pike County escaped Montgomery with a 36-35 win last time the two teams met. “The main thing we’re working on is our free throw shooting,” Holland said. “We shot awful when we beat them in Montgomery. We need to play smarter and coach smarter. Even though we beat them, we still think they are one of the top two teams in our area.”