CHHS finish tourney 3-1

Published 7:21 pm Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Charles Henderson Trojans celebrated the new year with a consolation championship in the Sandestin Beach Blowout on Monday afternoon.

After falling in round one to Highlands, the Trojans bounced back to win their next three consolation games, including a 48-46 win over Brookwood in the consolation final.

“I was proud of the guys for fighting and coming back,” said head coach Doug Branson. “After that first night of getting beat, we competed and grinded the rest of the week. There is only one team that left 4-0. I’m really proud of the guys and this gets us ready for area play.”

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After falling in round one, the Trojans bounced back to get wins against Breathitt County, Montgomery Catholic and Brookwood in the final game.

“We played teams from Georgia, Kentucky and Alabama,” Branson said. “When you play a team from Alabama (Montgomery Catholic) that looks similar to us, we look pretty good. We looked good and made some shots against Montgomery Catholic.

“The team out of Georgia (Brookwood) really made it tough on us to score. We didn’t score well and the first half was ugly. The second half the game got going more and we made some shots. We held on to win the game.”

If the Trojans make the postseason again this season, they will once again go up against largely unfamiliar teams from around the state. Tournaments like the one they just completed gives them a taste of what to expect.

“When it comes to playing teams you’re not familiar with, then you really focus on yourselves,” Branson said. “That is something that we have really been able to do. The guys have done a good job with that. We go back to our fundamentals and our basics. It should be beneficial as we move forward.”

The Trojans will be back on the court Friday at home as they get set to begin area play against Greenville. The Trojans took home the regular season and area tournament championship last season.

“Whether we are 18-0 or 0-18, now is when the season starts,” Branson said. “At the end of the day, this is what really matters in Alabama high school basketball. We have Greenville coming in on Friday and they are athletic, quick, big and they jump well. It’s a good basketball team coming in here and we are going to have to be on our P’s and Q’s to be able to compete.”

The Trojans took home their area championship before later advancing to their first regional tournament in many years.

The Trojans have many new faces on this year’s team, but two players that are back are Keonte Brantley and Keith Wheeler.

“Keonte has stepped up more and more as the year has gone on as a leader,” Branson said. “Those guys are invaluable. Brantley and Keith Wheeler, who played on the team last year, their leadership and the experience they bring isn’t measurable. It’s something that the other guys feed off of and lean on.”

The Trojans and Greenville varsity boys will tip-off on Friday following the conclusion of the junior varsity boys and varsity girls.