Cougars at the breakPublished 9:34am Tuesday, December 31, 2013
With the graduation of Xavier Moon, the Central High School – Coosa County Cougars were desperate to find a new No. 1 scorer, as Moon’s departure took with it the majority of the Cougars’ offense.
While a top scorer has emerged, the Cougars are still clawing for some consistency on the court. Here’s a recap of the first half of the season for Central-Cooa.
The season so far
The Cougars are virtually a lock to trot out a competitive squad year in and year out, and while the team’s play has been up and down, Central High School currently has a 5-5 record on the season.
The Cougars started the season 2-0 but proceeded to drop four of its next five games on the year, including losses to Dadeville and Benjamin Russell.
In addition, the offense has come and gone, as there have been two occasions the Cougars were held in the 30-point range. After reeling off double-digit victories, the Cougars fell hard to Sylacauga by a score of 73-30.
Guard Quin Robbins was the team’s No. 2 scoring option last season, but with the effectiveness of Moon on a night-to-night basis, Robbins’ services were rarely required outside of a couple of baskets here or there.
Now that Moon has graduated, Robbins has seized the role as the team’s top scorer. Robbins, who has long been a three-point threat, is showing more confidence in his game and can score from most areas on the floor. He’s become a consistent threat to put up 20+ points per game for coach Joe Belyeu’s squad.
The Cougars’ offense is loaded with three-point shooters with Robbins, Andrew Hammond, David McKinney and Tyus Maxwell.
When these four are all clicking at the same time, the Cougars can shoot most teams out of the gym. McKinney is a fearless gunner, and he along with Hammond adds more perimeter scoring for the Cougars, which has helped to take the load off of Robbins.
Tre Royal, who brings energy and toughness to the team, has shown to be more than just a effort and hustle player. During the Pepsi Classic the junior flashed a reliable mid-range game and showed that if given the chance, he can be a formidable scoring option for Central High School – Coosa County.
Questions heading into 2014
The prevalent issue for the Cougars this season is becoming more consistent as the year goes on. The Cougars play in a very tough region in Class 3A, and success won’t be easy to come by if Belyeu isn’t sure what version of his squad will take the floor from night to night.
Additionally, a No. 2 scorer has to embrace his role in order to make the Cougars more multi-faceted. Robbins is a strong No. 1 option, but one-man teams won’t get very far.
As it currently stands, Royal or McKinney looks best suited to take on the role of “Option B.” Royal is not a ball dominator, but when pressed into scoring action he has shown to be capable of getting points.
McKinney’s willingness and confidence to step into the role of second scorer could benefit the Cougars as well. The 6’4” sophomore may be the second best shooter on the team when he’s on his game.
The Cougars host area opponent Trinity on Jan. 7.