Expecting a challenge

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 17, 2010

To say that Red Level is ready to face defending Class 2A state champion Barbour County tonight at the South Regional tournament in Mobile is an understatement.

“Our kids are looking forward to the challenge,” Red Level coach Fred Kelley said. “We’ve got the most respect for Barbour County and what they do. We also know that it’s a game of basketball, and it favors the team that makes the fewest mistakes.”

Kelley said that practice on Monday was productive.

“It was a just a practice where we got real focused,” he said. “Coach (Kenneth) (Valrie) and I just went over the game, and we watched the tape on them.”

On Saturday night, the Tigers defeated Millry 74-54 in the Class 2A South Sub-Regional tournament on their court.

In tonight’s game, Red Level will be playing at the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell Center and tip off is at 7:30.

“We’re just doing what we know we’re doing and controlling all that we know we can control,” Kelley said. “That’s all we ask of them is to do what we do and that’s execute, and we know we’re facing the defending state champions.”

The key for Red Level in tonight’s game alone rests on its defense, Kelley said.

“We’ve been able to hold people to 50 (points) or below,” he said. “That’s going to be the key for us. We’re going to have to slow the pace of the game down like we want, and we’ve got to have intensity.

“Every possession is big for us,” he said. “Every time we drive down the court, we have to get something positive out of it. We’ve got to limit the amount of turnovers. The defense is going to be the key.”

Kelley said the mindset of the players remains positive in preparation for the game.

“They all know what’s at stake,” he said. “We all know if you lose, your season is over. If you win, you have the chance at the elusive state title. You’re four games away, down to 16 teams in each region. We feel like we have a shot just like everybody else does. We’re excited about the opportunity.”

Kelley added one player seems to be confident his team will win tonight.

“One of the players just said, ‘we’re fixing to shock the world.’ ”