Bulldogs still looking for identity heading into area play

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Pike County Bulldogs closed out the non-conference portion of their schedule by going 2-1 with Capital City Classic in Montgomery. As the calendar flips to 2017, the Bulldogs prepare for the start of area play.

The Bulldogs have just played eight games, and with a 5-3 record are still seeking their identity.

“I can’t say that we have one just eight games in,” said Bulldogs head coach Doug Holland. “There are some things that we are starting to understand better when it comes to game situations, but I wouldn’t say we were close to where we want to be.”

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The Bulldogs entered the season without three leaders from last year: Deshon Cowling, Jerrell Lawson and Kamari Jackson. So far this season, the Bulldogs have gotten good leadership from a good crop of players that include Juhmir and Jahzarian Lampley, the only two returning players from last season.

“Juhmir has done a great job and I don’t think Uri Rouse is far behind,” Holland said. “His play is starting to pick up. That is one thing that I was proud to see, I have been telling them all year to shoot the ball.

“Their leadership has rubbed off on the team. They are starting to understand the leadership role. With them all understanding their roles, it’s going to come down to us gelling into one unit when we get into area play.”

The Bulldogs enter a new area in 2017 that includes Daleville, Wicksburg, Providence Christian and Houston Academy.

Holland expects a different brand of basketball than the one he has experienced in the season’s first couple of months.

“There is going to be a lot of intensity in every game that we go into,” Holland said. “Whether we are home or away, it’s all going to come down to effort and intensity and who is going to match each other’s intensity better.

“Teams like Daleville and Houston Academy are going to give us their best shot and we know that. We have to open up with Daleville and we know that we have our work cut out for us.”

The Bulldogs are hoping to improve offensively when the ball gets tipped for area play.

“It definitely has to be offensively,” Holland said. “I think we get inconsistent and we don’t stay in our offense enough. We are too quick to get out of it. Running our offense is something that I hope we can improve on.”

The Bulldogs will officially open area play when they host Daleville on this evening.

“We are going to have to do a better job with our rotations,” Holland said. “They are going to be long and they have some seniors on this team. We are going to have to do a good job defensively against them.”

tip is scheduled for around 7 p.m.