Opp faces Elba tonight, hopes to get back on track

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 18, 2008

After coming off of the Andalusia Christmas Invitational last week, the Opp Bobcats are ready to get in a winning rhythm as they play host to Elba tonight.

The Bobcats (3-7) only won one game in the Invitational against Florala, but lost to Elba in the loser’s bracket championship round.

Opp coach Ronnie Sansom said his team is all too familiar with Elba.

“We’ve already played them twice and they beat us the first game of the season,” Sansom said. “They beat us Saturday at Andalusia’s tournament. They’re very athletic and they have a lot of seniors.

“They’re playing extremely hard for coach (Alonzo) Barkley and they’ve got some kids that are, from what it looks like to me, improving on their shooting and being able to score. They’re pretty tough.”

Sansom said his team would have to play tough defense on Elba, to keep them from making baskets.

“(Elba) pretty much played us man-to-man in both games,” he said. “So, we’ve been working on putting in a few different things to counter that and giving us a different look. We’re also trying to put a little more pressure on them defensively to keep them from getting so many open looks at the basket.”

On offense, Sansom said execution is key in making available shots.

“We’ve just got to execute and hit the shots that we’re comfortable taking,” Sansom said. “In Saturday’s game, we’re down 19-6 after the first quarter, played them even in the second and outscored them by one point in the whole second half. That’s six shots in or around the paint in the first quarter alone, so we were getting the shots we wanted, we’ve just got to make sure we can get them down.”

Sansom said he has had to make some adjustments on his team at this point in the season.

“I’ve had to change the line up a little bit and move some kids around,” he said. “We’re pretty much starting off with almost a five guard look. I’ve pulled Tyler Harrison up off the B-team. He played well for us in the tournament when he got the opportunity.”

After today’s game, Opp will play in Daleville’s Christmas tournament on Friday, Monday and Tuesday.

“As far as our team right now, we’re 3-7, but realistically, we’re a few possessions, a few turnovers and a few mistakes away from being 7-3, honestly,” he said. “We just had a couple of stretches where we didn’t convert any points and gave up some (points) on defense. My kids are playing extremely hard, but we’ve just got to take all that effort and team it up with a little better execution and hopefully things will start turning our way for us.”

Play starts at 4:30 p.m. with the B-team.