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PHS to rely on defense during 2009-10 season

Pleasant Home boys basketball coach Jerry Davis said Monday that if his team wants to have a successful season, they’ll have to rely on strong defense.

“We’ve got some kids with some experience back this year,” Davis said. “I feel pretty good about it, but we’re just awful small. It’s not so much a factor on offense as it is going to be a factor on defense.”

This season, Pleasant Home will be in Class 1A, Area 3, with Kinston, McKenzie and Florala.

Davis said the key this year would be if his team can stop opponents on the inside, especially under the net.

“We’ve got a couple people in our area that have that capability (of scoring points on the inside),” he said. “I feel like we’re going to be able to shoot the ball pretty well — we should be able to.”

This season, the Eagles will have four starters on the perimeter positions — Ethan King, Cody Taylor, Colter Poole and Blake Herman.

On the inside, Davis said he would use Josh Godwin and Cory Sims.

“We’re going to be pretty fast-paced, shoot a lot of three-pointers and go inside when we can,” Davis said about his offense. “They are going to have to guard us on the perimeter. I feel we’ve got several kids that are going to be consistent three-point shooters for high school.

“If we can take the pressure off the inside — even though those kids on the inside are not what you consider very large post players — they will be able to do their job in situations,” he said. “Those kids can play in one-on-one situations and that’s what we’ve got to create in a perimeter zone.”

Davis said teams would have to work hard to force his players to drive to the basket.

“If they force us to go on the inside, then we’re going to be okay,” he said. “If they match up the perimeter, then we’re going to be one-on-one on the inside.”

Davis said he would probably switch defenses regularly.

“We’re going to pressure the whole ball game one way or the other,” he said. “We can’t let people just come down and set up a half-court situation and pound it inside. If we do that, then we’re in trouble.”

Last season, the Eagles gave up an average of 45 points per game, compared to scoring 53 on offense.

Davis said he hopes the average on defense will be the same, if not better.

“That’s a decent differential,” he said.

In addition, Davis said having a “winning” season is one of two goals his team has put high on their list.

“Obviously being in the playoffs and having a winning season are two of our goals,” Davis said. “We’re trying to create a chemistry on the team as far as the ones that are going to play. That’s going to be a big key for us.

“It’s not always the five best players on the floor,” he said. “I feel like we’re going to be able to play eight kids or nine most nights in pressure situations.”

Pleasant Home’s first game of the season is Tues., Nov. 17, at Zion Chapel. The B-team starts first at 4:30 p.m.