Panthers look to cage Tigers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Coach Deryk Roberts and his Georgiana Panthers have had nearly two weeks to gear up for the area tournament, more importantly to gear up for their first round foe, the Red Level Tigers. The Tigers are the host team in the tournament after securing the area championship in sound fashion.

The Tigers and the Panthers will tangle on Friday night at 7 p.m., for the right to advance into the second round of the tournament and in the state's sub-regionals which will determine which team goes to Mobile and which team goes home.

The Tigers present a major problem for the Panthers, primarily because they run a press-defense a majority of the game.

"It's not so much intimidating playing them in the first round," said Roberts.

"The tough thing is that it's a team that's beaten us twice and now we are having to face them in an elimination game. So its kind of tough for us."

"But the guys have been working hard and the coaches are working hard. Hopefully the chips will fall our way."

For the Panthers Friday night, their gameplan is simple.

"We are going to try to beat the press and shoot the ball well," said Roberts. "We can't fall back like we have done previously and come out with seven or eight turnovers in a row. That's puts us down 14, 16 points early. But that kind of tells the tape of the game of when we've played against them. Main focus is getting it across half-court. That's what's really killed us, not being able to get it across half court."

To ensure that they are capable of accomplishing this task, Roberts and assistant coach Andy Katrick have been working on press breaks. Also, the Panthers won't have their seventh-grade pointguard bringing the ball up the court.

"Kenny Peterson is going to bring it up, then once we get past halfcourt then we'll start passing," said Roberts.

Tipoff for Friday's game is set for 7 p.m. and will be played at Red Level.