By Griffin Pritchard
Repeat or Revenge?
When the Georgiana Panthers and the Greenville High Tigers took the court on Nov. 23, the Panthers were 1-0 and the Tigers were 0-1.
Now, 53 days later, the Panthers still have only one win and the Tigers find themselves with eight wins.
Despite the reversal in fortunes, the Tigers and the Panthers are ready to rumble.
"I think we are a little more prepared for the press than we were last time," said Derek Roberts, coach of the Georgiana Panthers.
"We are undersized but I think we have gotten better from that first game, despite not winning a game. I'm hoping that my guys aren't going to come out intimidated and that we can have a good showing this time. It's all up to my guys tonight."
When the two teams met for the first time in November, the Tigers proved to be the better team. Led by Devoski McMeans and Josh Hawkins.
"We are going to come out and play good fundamental basketball and work on our offenses and defenses and see what happens from there," said Randy Fullington coach of the Greenville High Tigers.
Greenville took control of the game early and scored often having several of their points scored off turnovers and three pointers thanks to GHS's press-defense.
But, for Roberts and the Panther, that's something they've been working on.
"We want to try to control the tempo of the game a little better," said Roberts. "It's how they come out and play. From time to time I see a different team out there on the floor. It's like I see a spark from these guys and sometimes I don't. But I do know we are going to try to use our quickness try do some things differently to get them in foul trouble. There is not much we can do as far as the inside because of their size. But we got beat on the outside last time because they shot a lot of threes. I hope we can contain that this time. The guys should have their legs under them now more than then and hopefully it should work out for us."
When the girls take the floor tonight, there will be history involved. When Greenville and Georgiana squared off for the second time a year, the Lady Panthers picked up the victory by one point.
But, when the took the floor in November, the Lady Tigers proved to be the better squad, winning by 30.
"Greenville always has a good team and is a big challenge for us," said John Cheatham, coach of the Georgiana Lady Panthers.
"They are always very versatile and quick. The last time we played them they beat us pretty bad. But I think that we can hang in there. I don't know if we can beat them but we are going to go in there and play like we can. Some of the things that we are going to try to do differently is to play a little better defense. I think we were intimidated by them in the first game. Hopefully now we are ready to play. I think we are about as ready as we are going to get."
The Lady Panthers take the floor having a little better season than their male counterparts.
The Lady Panthers have notched victories over W.S. Neal, McKenzie and Red Level twice.
"I think the girls will be quite a bit more confident coming into this game," said Cheatham. "The first game, most of my players are not used to having to score as much as they do, but since most of the people that did the scoring graduated last year, they will be looked upon to score more."
"Patrice Cheatham is going to have to step up a little more, Lakesha Crittendon is doing a little more, but Patrice is going to have to step up and be more offensive minded. Taneka Page and Tiffany Smith have been doing well offensively. We do pretty well defensively but we just need to work on the offense. I think their greatest advantage is their confidence. But if our girls go in there and play with confidence I think we will be in the game. But I don't know if we can pull the upset. If we do, it will be with us playing defense."
For Greenville High Coach Ronald Bogan, tonight's game should be a completely different story than the last one.
"The last time we played," said Bogan, "they were young. But now they've gained some experience. They seem to be getting on the right track. That's going to make a difference for them getting playing time. I'm thinking that it's going to be a more competitive game than we had the last time we played them."
Both teams were in action last night with the Panthers traveling to Red Level and the Tigers playing host to Hillcrest-Evergreen.
"Hillcrest beat us down in their place by 12," said Fullington.
"But when the beat us, we didn't have Devoski and that was the night he sat out for disciplinary reasons. But I think that we are better team, offensively and defensively with him on the floor. And I think that we've improved as a team since then also. I think we will give them a better show."
Tipoff for tonight's game is set for 6 p.m. with no "B" team games. The Ladies's teams will take the floor first with the varsity's to follow.
(This week The Luverne Journal spotlights long#045;time Rutledge resident Ruby Still, who now resides at Luverne Health and Rehab.)
Not many people have bragging rights to having picked a bale of cotton in one season, but Ms. Ruby Still,... read more