Trojans receive valuable practice time after busy start tot h season

Published 11:14 am Monday, December 24, 2018

Despite coming off a close loss to Pike County on Tuesday, the Charles Henderson boy’s basketball team enter the holiday break on a bit of a roll.

The Trojans currently sit at 8-6 after a busy stretch of basketball and entered the week ranked in the top 10 in Class 5A.

“We have a played a really tough schedule,” said head coach Doug Branson. “I think it’s going to pay off in the long run. The guys have really bought into the things we are trying to do. We have had to play through mistakes and we learned to deal with them and we are trying to correct them and move forward.”

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It’s been a busy schedule. The Trojans have played nine games already this month and four games in the last week, including their loss to Pike County on Tuesday evening.

“A thing that I will change in the future is having a few more practice days,” Branson said. “Things that we weren’t quite getting right, we just didn’t have time to tweak the things that we needed to tweak. The schedule was 90 percent made by the previous coach. We have run with it the way that it’s been. I would prefer to have two games a week instead of four and some practice time in between.”

Like many teams in the area, Charles Henderson was forced to cram games in a small window of open dates due to the length of football season. The Trojans had to schedule more games, forcing a quicker turnaround between games.

“I am proud with how we have persevered through some challenging things that have come about,” Branson said. “I look forward to the second half of the season and for us to continue to keep getting better and grind.”

Through the busy schedule, Branson and the coaching staff have had plenty of opportunities to find their strengths.

“I think defensively, we are by no means where I want us to be, but I think we are pretty decent defensively. We try to do enough different stuff that the other team has to adjust to us more than us adjusting to them. We try to play different defenses, two or three different defenses in a game to keep the other team off balance. It takes away a team’s rhythm and continuity.”

The Trojans entered the week ranked number six in class 5A. When Branson took over as head coach in the offseason, he came in with zero expectations.

“I didn’t want to come in with undo pressure on them or myself,” Branson said. “I just wanted us to work on getting better. We wanted to get better at least one percent every day. There were days when we got seven, eight, nine or 10 percent better. Then there were days when we only got one percent better. From October 15 until now, I do believe we continually have gotten better.”

The Trojans will compete in the San Destin Hoops Tournament on December 27. When the calendar flips to 2019, the Trojans will take on Greenville on January 4.

“When we get back from that we will start really hammering down on some things for area play,” Branson said. “We have to get back to the fundamentals and we have to go back to the basics.”