Bulldogs eager to take game on the road

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Pike County Bulldogs are set to begin the Class 3A Area 4 Tournament this Thursday against Houston Academy in Daleville.

The Bulldogs finished the regular season with a 6-2 record securing a first round game with the Raiders.

“This is what we have been working towards all year,” said Bulldogs head coach Doug Holland. “I think we are heading in the right direction as we head into a tough area tournament.”

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The Bulldogs ride into the tournament on a seven-game winning streak based on playing strong defense.

“I think our guys have bought into being a better defensive team,” Holland said. “We don’t score the ball as well as we have in the past, and they had to make a conscious effort on the defensive end. I think they did that the last part of the year.”

The Bulldogs dropped both of their area games to Daleville but aren’t intimidated about playing the area tournament on the road.

“We are getting out of our comfort zone. We have hosted area (tournament) two out of the last three years,” Holland said. “I don’t think they are intimated to go on the road. … I don’t think anybody is going to be intimated by anyone.”

The key for the game will be avoiding turnovers.

“I think that is going to be the key for all the teams,” Holland said. “The teams are going to be balanced. It’s all going to come down to who can limit the turnovers the most.”

One player that will be looked on to lead the Bulldogs will be Juhmir Lampley. Lampley has been one of the go-to leaders for the Bulldogs down the stretch.

“I think he has learned from the beginning of the season,” Holland said. “He has really picked his time to take over the game and I think it has helped him. He is no doubt one of our best scorers.”

The Bulldogs will tip things off with the Raiders beginning at 6 p.m. and Holland would love to see his team get off to a fast start.

“We have preached over the last couple of days not to start slow,” Holland said. “That is the worst thing you can do in area play. Good teams won’t let you recover.”