Trojans ready for Rebels

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, February 9, 2016

With the Class 5A area 3 tournament set to get underway today, Charles Henderson head coach Carl Hollis’ message to his players is to be like wolves ready to hunt.

The Trojans’ (10-11) first-round matchup against Rehobeth is a must-win game between teams gunning for season extending victory.

“We win, we go back to Eufaula. And if we lose then we are through,” Hollis said. “I have burned a lot of midnight oil trying to get them ready for the area tournament. It’s in their hands.”

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Hollis said the message has sunk in for some while others are still searching.

“They have been focused some and they have been unfocused,” Hollis said. “It has to mean something to them.”

Hollis has been telling his players the importance of preparation and cited a previous team that went to the state semifinals after finishing the regular season with an 8-10 record.

“The guys bought into what we were selling and it made a difference in that whole season,” Hollis said. “This group hasn’t been as receptive in making a difference. Somewhere in their mindset they feel like everything is fine. It has a lot to do with whether they want to win or come home.”

To win they will have to do it against a team that has the ability to knock down shots form anywhere on the court and a strong emphasis on fundamentals.

“They are a team that is going to beat you because Rehobeth is going to do what Coach Easterwood asked them to do,” Hollis said. “They are going to take care of the ball and they’re going to make their free throws. They are going to shoot the ball well, and they are not going to force shots.”

Hollis said while post-season play differs in many ways from the regular season, one thing remains the same: You have to win.

“It’s like March Madness in college,” Hollis said. “You have number one teams losing to teams you have never heard of during the season. It has a lot to do with who is hungry and when a wolf gets hungry, it’s going to hunt. This is a new season. We have to count the losses as being an advantage to us … this is a brand-new day.”

The Trojans and the Rebels will tip off at 6 p.m. today with the winner taking on Eufaula on Thursday. The winner will also secure a spot in the sub-regional tournament.