Opp begins area play

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 8, 2009

In order for Opp to be successful in its first area game tonight against St. James, coach Ronnie Sansom said the Bobcats will have to put “pressure on the perimeter.”

“(St. James has) really good size this year,” Sansom said. “Last year, they had some really good shooters. Most of those guys will be back.”

The Bobcats (1-3) are coming off a three-game week, headed into tonight’s contest in Opp. On Friday night, they lost to Andalusia, 67-38.

“We’re going to have to put pressure on St. James at the perimeter,” Sansom said. “We’ve got to rebound better than we did Friday night. I know we were outsized, but we’ve got to do a better job of rebounding.”

In addition, Sansom said his team must control the tempo of the game and execute their game plan.

“They used pressure against us last year and made us play their kind of basketball,” he said. “They controlled the game from beginning to end. We’ve got to prevent that from happening.”

The last time Opp met St. James was in the Class 4A, Area 2 tournament in February at Ashford. The Bobcats lost, 67-33, due to two shooters who put up a combined 41 points.

“They did lose a little bit from last year,” Sansom said about St. James’ returning starters. “But they’re really going to be a disciplined basketball team. We’ve got to dictate the tempo of the game and make things a little bit better than we did last year.”

Sansom said that in a five-team area, the first area win is crucial.

“You always want to start off in area with a win,” he said. “We’re having to play a little bit earlier than we’d like, but we’ve got a five-team area. As competitive as our area is going to be with the teams we’ve got in there, it’s very important to have some confidence going into the Andalusia tournament.

“We’d like to be first, second or third and in a five team area, you want to avoid that fourth or fifth place finish at all costs,” he said. “That’s what we’re shooting for.”