• 70°

‘Staying healthy’ is key

Having healthy bodies this late in a basketball season is essential.

This will be the key in tonight’s road game as Pleasant Home travels to play area foe Kinston.

The last time Pleasant Home and Kinston met was on Jan. 12, when the Eagles (15-6, 4-1 in Class 1A, Area 3) won 53-37.

That win came with some losses for Pleasant Home, with guards Josh Godwin and Blake Herman sustaining injuries.

Since the game, Godwin has returned to full strength and Herman has played “little,” Pleasant Home coach Jerry Davis said.

Davis said tonight’s game is a “big” one.

“If we win it, then we’re going to host and if we lose it, then this thing can get into all kinds of turmoil,” he said. “It could come down to coin flips, and we could get pushed out of it totally.”

Pleasant Home earned its fourth area win Tuesday night, defeating Florala, 46-36, but Davis said that matters little in the grand scheme of things.

“Having healthy bodies is the key for us,” Davis said. “I’m trying to think in the last four years how many times we’ve played without (senior point guard) Ethan (King). I’ve sat him here and there.”

Davis said the injuries really affect the depth in the game plan.

“You’ve got five you feel like is better than anybody else and that’s why you have starters,” he said. “Now, when you only have five kids, you’re scared to get them in foul trouble and you can’t do anything in the second half.

“Having injured players changed the whole style of us playing,” he said. “We’ve had as many as three out at one time. We have not gotten healthy at one point in time this year.”

In order to win tonight Pleasant Home is looking to create an up-tempo style game, while utilizing its press.

“If we’re very healthy and play well, then we’ve got a good shot,” Davis said. “It’s that way this time of the season. You’ve got to play well. We’ve had one loss since Christmas and considering the adversity they’ve faced, our kids have done a good job.

“Sitting here at 15-6 everybody thinks you’re doing great, but with kids being out it’s a different set every time you walk out there. For us to be successful we’ve got to get healthy — it’s that simple.”

Tip off tonight for the B-team is at 4:30.