Bulldogs gearing into shape

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Pike County Bulldogs started much later than most teams in 2015 but they haven’t let the late start impact their performance on the court.

The Bulldogs, 5-2, are entering area play with confidence, even though head coach Doug Holland wishes his team had a few games under their belt.

“We were really looking forward to playing some more games.” Holland said. “I think we have a long way to go. We played sluggish on Saturday against Goshen.”

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After starting the season in what Holland referred to as “football shape,” the Bulldogs have continued to improve.

“I would probably give it a C plus right now,” Holland said. “Their effort has been there, I just think it’s a lack of experience due to the lack of games. I don’t think we are where we need to be right now.”

The highlight of season so far came a few weeks ago when the Bulldogs defeated the Goshen Eagles and took home the Goshen High School basketball tournament championship.

The team is leaning heavily on seniors Deshon Cowling, Kamari Jackson and Jerrell Lawson, who have led the Bulldogs during the first half of the season.

“Deshon is always going to give you effort night in and night out,” Holland said. “Kamari (Jackson) plays well and will also give you effort. I think the unsung player that a lot of people forget about is Jerrell Lawson. Against Goshen he had 10 or 11 points, but had 18 rebounds. All that is what we have come to expect from those three guys.”

Once area play starts, the Bulldogs will have to play more as a team.

“The main thing now is being cohesive as a group,” Holland said. “We all need to be playing good at the same time. We are looking for five guys to play well for just 32 minutes.”

Whether it being from the trap defense to the transition offense the athleticism has really paid off for the Bulldogs.

“Our trap has been a lot better than normal,” Holland said. ”It has been our best attribute up to this point.”

As the season transitions into area play the Bulldogs will try to fine tune their mental attitudes. “Our mental toughness and focus have to stay hungry,” Holland said. “Sometimes we will come up and not have the killer instinct that you want teams to have. “

Barbour County and Abbeville could prove to be the toughest area opponents.

The Bulldogs will have one final tournament starting on the day after Christmas, when they travel to take part in the Red Level tournament.