Archived Story

‘Cats face ‘Dega in playoffs

Published 2:26pm Thursday, February 14, 2013

By Ed Bailey

The Wildcats are heading to Talladega with designs on slowing down an offense that, according to BRHS boys basketball coach Jeff Hines, plays at a pace better suited for the speedway of the same name.
Following a 58-48 loss to Valley in the Class 5A, Area 5 tournament final, Benjamin Russell wants to bring Talladega to its pace in hopes of eliminating the Tigers from the playoffs.
“We want them to play our tempo,” Hines said. “It’s very obvious that they want to score a lot of points, and it’s also obvious that we struggle to score a lot of points. So we’re going to have to dictate how we play the game.”
In the teams’ last regular-season meeting, Benjamin Russell squandered a 41-34 lead in the late third quarter and lost to the Tigers 69-66.
Poor shooting doomed BRHS in that game and also cost them in the area  final against Valley. Hines said the Wildcats would have to perform better offensively.
“We have to shoot a higher percentage against Talladega in order to advance to Montgomery,” Hines said.
Hines said the Tigers’ quickness would be a challenge to deal with, but with a length and size advantage in favor of the Wildcats, he added that perhaps Talladega’s speedsters could be negated.
“Just from scouting reports, they’ve gone to a smaller lineup, which makes them even quicker,” Hines said. “But this could play into our advantage as we’ve got bigger guards. There’s no question that we’re bigger than most people so in order to use that to our advantage, it all starts with our press.”
Hines said the teams are familiar with one another and while he expects new wrinkles, this could help BRHS.
“Of course there’s a sense of familiarity,” Hines said. “But I’m sure they’re going to do some things differently, and we’re going to do some things differently as well.”
Tip-off is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m.