Opp ready for Enterprise

Published 11:59 pm Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Opp Bobcats have a tough game ahead of them tonight as they hit the road to play 6A powerhouse Enterprise in non-area play.

The Bobcats (3-13, 0-3 in Class 4A, Area 2) are coming off a 68-33 loss to Brewbaker Tech Tuesday night, but are looking forward to the challenge of playing the Wildcats.

Opp coach Ronnie Sansom said Enterprise was put in his team’s season lineup as a game to help prepare his team for area competition.

“It’s going to be a very tough one (against Enterprise) and that’s why we scheduled it after finding out what our area play was,” Sansom said. “With the style that those teams are going to play, we wanted to add Enterprise because they play in your face and very up tempo.

“It’s a good measurement and it’s a good preparation for our area games,” he said. “They’ve got some great players, of course Rhett Harrelson is being talked about the most. They’ve got a lot of guys around him that can really play. It’s going to be a tough one.”

Enterprise, along with Opp, played in the Andalusia Invitational last month. Sansom said from what he observed, Enterprise has a lot of depth to carry them through its games.

“They’ve got more than just Harrelson,” he said. “The one game I watched them play he didn’t score a whole lot, but they had enough guys to pick up the slack. So you really have to prepare to beat them as a team and not take away one or two people.

“They are very, very aggressive on defense and they’re going to stay after you,” he said. “If they are in foul trouble, they are not going to change what they do. They’re going to do what they do from beginning to end and that’s why we scheduled them because they’re in your face from end line to end line.”

On the game Tuesday night, Sansom said despite the loss, his team is working hard.

“It ended up being by about 30 points,” Sansom said. “We’re still playing hard. We’re just working defensively. We’re going to be mismatched against folks, but right now we’re just working on a lot of man-to-man stuff because folks are exploiting us in the zone.

“We’re just having to try to be more aggressive on defense and create some offense through that because we’re going to have some really good teams coming up that we can’t sit back in the zone against.”

As to whether his team has reached their “full potential,” Sansom said it’s not that far off from happening.

“We haven’t reached it yet, but we’re getting a lot closer,” he said. “You can’t look at the scores and tell against Bullock County and Brewbaker Tech. Actually, we’ve done a better job of handling their pressure than we had against teams that weren’t quite as intense on defense earlier in the year.

“From that aspect I think we’ve gotten better,” he said. “We’re looking to take better shots on offense and executing. We’re just going to try to keep improving in those areas and keep playing hard. We’re definitely in a rebuilding process. I don’t think we’ve plateaued and I don’t think we’ve peaked either.”

Sansom said there have been no significant changes to the lineup on his team.

“Everything is pretty much the same; the lineup is still starting five guards out there,” Sansom said. “We’re getting a lot of help from the bench. Everybody’s pretty much helping. That’s what it’s going to take is a lot of help from all 10 guys, whether that’s playing 20 of the 32 minutes or two of the 32 minutes.

“Attitude’s been really good and I’ve got some great kids,” he said. “We pretty much know what we’re going to work on — man-to-man defense and working on executing and trying to get better as basketball players.”

Tip off tonight in Enterprise is at 5 p.m. with the B-team boys followed directly by the varsity boys’ game. The varsity girls are not playing tonight.