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Important to win

Red Level coach Fred Kelley knows how important each area game this season is for his team.

Tonight, Red Level will host Mobile Christian in Class 2A, Area 1, play.

Tuesday night, the Tigers (8-9, 1-0) won their first area game against Excel.

Kelley said it was a “big win” for his team for a couple of reasons.

“One was that it was our first area win,” he said. “Second, we had a couple of players out that were not able to play. We were really short in depth, but we were able to rely on our bench play to overcome some of those obstacles. It was just a huge win for us.”

As for the two injured players, Kelley said one will be back for tonight’s game and the other will “probably” return for the area tournament in early February.

Kelley said his team will have to take control of the game in order to win tonight.

“We’ve got to go out there and just establish our tempo and what we want to do to dictate our tempo of the game,” he said. “Every possession that we have on the offensive end is important. We’ve got to get something good every time we come down the floor.”

If Red Level wins tonight, it will be the third-straight win over Mobile Christian (the regular season). Last season, the Tigers beat Mobile Christian both at home and away.

“(Mobile Christian) will be well-coached and well-disciplined,” Kelley said. “They’ll want us to play their style of game. They’ll just work the ball around patiently and let us make mistakes and take advantage of opportunities out there.”

Kelley said Mobile Christian is both a perimeter and inside team.

“They’re real patient on offense,” he said. “They have some real good outside shooters, but they also have a couple of post players. They have one guy that’s 6-4 and another that is 6-6 that’s pretty good inside.

“What we’re going to have to do is match up the perimeter and double down low when they get the ball down inside,” he said.

Kelley said while remaining undefeated in area play will be a positive for his team, having a 9-9 record is also important.

“We’ve been trying to get to that .500 mark,” he said. “We’ve been battling all year long. Every time we get to a game where we can, we end up losing. So, it’s going to be a big test for us — going to be measuring stick for us (tonight).

“We’ll find a way to pull out a victory,” he said.

Tip-off tonight is after the varsity girls game.