Straughn to play area rival

Published 10:47 pm Thursday, January 22, 2009

It will be a significant win if Straughn pulls out a victory tonight as it hosts area opponent Calhoun.

The Tigers (8-13, 0-5 in Class 3A, Area 3) need to win this game in order to avoid the last place finish in their area.

Straughn coach Todd Reynolds said it will come down to a “coin toss” for area seeding if they win the game tonight.

“We’ll close out a tough area stretch (tonight),” Reynolds said. “I think they’ve got one win in the area and we have yet to win, so the significance of this game is that if we can pull it out it’ll come down to a coin toss to who will get the third seed and that team doesn’t have to play the host team in that first game.

“We feel like this year in our area we’ve played hard and just come up short in a couple of situations,” he said. “With Luverne, it was 35-33 going into the fourth quarter, but the refs ate their whistle and basically they didn’t call anyone on fouls. That was all she wrote.”

Reynolds said despite their record, his team has progressed far during the season.

“The players are playing hard and I’ve seen improvement,” he said. “It’s been a tough year because it’s been a regrouping year because we’ve lost six seniors and such.”

A couple of the reasons Reynolds believes his team came up short in the area were due to other teams’ athleticism and toughness.

“The No. 1 is that the teams that we played in our area are a lot more athletic,” he said. “We can get them to take the shots we want them to take and then they crash the boards and me having the injuries and being young in the post, that’s one area of concern.

“Then the other area is mental toughness,” he said. “Having such a young team, you’ve got to bring your ‘A’ game every game. Our margin of error is so much smaller than everybody else’s. Regardless, we’re going to play hard (tonight).”

Tip off tonight in Straughn is at 4:30 p.m. with the B-team.