PHS sweeps McKenzie

Published 1:21 am Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Pleasant Home narrowly escaped with a victory Tuesday night in its first area game over McKenzie, 57-48.

Missed layups and turnovers plagued the Eagles throughout the game, but a change in the game plan in the second half lead to the win.

“It was about as ugly as it gets, but we won,” Pleasant Home coach Jerry Davis said. “We’re happy with that and all we can do is to come back and work and play smarter. I won’t try to outsmart myself next time.

“I tried to do something we’re not prepared to do and got ourselves in a bad foul trouble to start half off with,” he said. “We tried to pick up pressure, but (McKenzie) are a lot better athletes and are a lot quicker than we are. We played right into their hands. We weren’t prepared to play against their zone.”

In the first half, the Eagles (9-6, 1-0 in Class 1A, Area 3) trailed McKenzie by five at the end of the first and four at halftime to put it at 31-27.

The momentum changed in the second half as the Eagles took the court and put the game to within one point at the end of the third.

Davis said getting the win tonight is “all that matters” right now in the season.

“It was a heck of a basketball game, but you’ve got to give our kids credit,” he said. “We hung in there and came back and got the win. That’s right now when you’re starting to play these area games. That’s all that matters. You’re playing for seeding and you’ve got to win.”

By the halfway point of the fourth quarter, Pleasant Home already sealed the deal with key free throws from Emory Rabren and Ethan King.

Both Rabren and King were the leading scorers with 15 and 20, respectively.

“Ethan King got some nice drives and layups and Emory Rabren was a big key,” Davis said. “That’s what (Rabren) is supposed to do. That’s his fourth year out there on varsity and I’m just proud to have him back. I never anticipated this early having him back and him being a big factor in this game.

“If we didn’t have him back tonight, we would have been in big trouble,” he said.

As for when his team got in rough spots during the game, Davis said his team did what they needed to do to control the tempo.

“I thought when we’re down, we were patient and we got the ball in the hands of the right people,” he said. “The kids we’ve got, I feel like all these kids contribute. Every kid we’ve got will make it a part of it.

“Right now we’re playing ugly, but we’re putting ‘Ws’ up and not ‘Ls’,” he said.

Davis added that right now he has to figure out what will work for his team as area play continues.

“We play a variety defenses and I feel like we’re adequate, but not real good at any of them,” Davis said. “I feel like we’ve got to find something we’re real comfortable in. We did a real poor job on getting the rebounds. (McKenzie) very good athletes and I thought they were better athletes than they were.

“We didn’t protect the ball well down the stretch and I thought we shot our free throws real well.”

Davis said the good thing about his team right now is that they have not reached their full potential on the court.

“The good thing about it is that we have not peaked,” he said. “We are nowhere close to peaking. The only thing that matters is playing well in February.

“I like this bunch of guys and I think they actually see that they could be pretty good,” he said.

The Eagles were 8-for-10 on the free throw line Tuesday night and Stephen Davis also was a leading scorer and put up 12 points.

In earlier action Tuesday night, the Pleasant Home B-team won over McKenzie, 24-20.

Pleasant Home continues area play on Friday night as they travel to play Florala. Tipoff is at 4:30 p.m. with the B-team.