Straughn boys enter area tourney ready for battle

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 5, 2010

Straughn will be playing Calhoun tonight in the first round of the Class 3A, Area 3 tournament at Central-Hayneville High School.

The Tigers (10-12) are going into the area tournament after finishing 5-1 in the last six games of the regular season.

“You can’t get much better than that,” Straughn coach Todd Reynolds said.

Reynolds said he knows the area tournament will present some challenges for the team, and he is looking for “consistency” from his players.

“It’s a tough area,” he said. “We’re going into it in hostile territory. We’re going to try to rally the troops and put in a good effort.”

A key to tonight’s game for Straughn will be to control the tempo of the game, Reynolds said.

“Calhoun is going to try to keep the tempo up, and we’re going to be spending most of our time trying to keep the tempo down,” he said. “It’s going to be a battle of wills. We won the last battle, so that’s why it could go either way. No matter what your season is going like — it comes down to one game.”

From a player’s standpoint, senior Caleb Cochran said it took a “long” time for the team to be where it is today.

“It took us a long time to get started because we went so far in football,” Cochran said. “So, the first part of the season was kind of rough. We’ve got a lot of guys that have stepped up the last couple games.”

Cochran named Jacob Bybee, Austin Pickrel, Chris Huggins and Bryan Walker to name a few.

Cochran said the main “key” for the players lies in rebounding.

“We’ve just got to box out,” he said. “Both of those teams like to throw up shots and get the rebounds. If we can limit them to one-and-dones, then I think we have a good shot of winning.”

Reynolds said that he appreciates the fans’ support throughout this season.

“I expect big things in the future and we’re just going to keep striving to be better every time,” he said.

Tip off tonight at Central-Hayneville High School is at 5.