Bobcats looking for more wins

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 13, 2011

Opp’s Tyler Mauer (30) and Dane Buckelew (25) guard Andalusia’s Niguel Jones during play on Dec. 3, 2010. The Bobcats are looking to extend their season after area play. | File photo

Despite having a 3-12 record heading into tonight’s game in Kinston, the Opp Bobcats still have a chance at extending their season, a confident boys coach Ronnie Sansom said on Wednesday.

“They do have an opportunity to salvage the season and win some area games,” Sansom said by telephone. “Their attitude is focused on that, and that’s helped.”

The Bobcats won their third game of the season on Tuesday night with a 58-51 area win over Geneva. Opp improved to 1-1 in Class 3A, Area 2.

“We just seemed to play a little more relaxed (Tuesday night),” Sansom said. “We executed more on offense. The defensive intensity has been a lot better, and that’s one thing we’ve been really trying to focus on.”

The Bobcats started out strong going on a 10-0 run in the first period. Opp led 15-11 at the end of the first period, and held a 29-24 lead at half time.

Steadman Gerber, a senior at center, was 8-for-12 from the free-throw line in the fourth period, Sansom said. He also led the Bobcats with 17 points.

“He’s been the most consistent for us,” he said.

Additionally, senior guard Tyler Harrison went 5-for-6 from the free throw line early in the contest, and scored 13 points in the win. Cantrell Tyson also had 12 points.

“He’s really come on strong for us here towards the latter part of the season,” Sansom said about Tyson.

Sansom said many of the losses were close, with the exception of Brantley and Elba at the Daleville Tournament. The Bobcats fell to Brantley 55-37, and Elba 56-41.

“We were in those games half way through the fourth quarter, and then we hurt ourselves,” he said. “We’ve been able to shake that off. We realized what was keeping us in those close games.

“They do have an opportunity to salvage the season and win some area games,” he said.

Opp has four more regular season area games left against Luverne twice, and one more time against Geneva and Pike County each before the area tournament.

But what has really helped the Bobcats so far this season is team experience and knowing what to do on the court, Sansom said.

“The seniors have been playing on varsity since the 10th grade,” he said. “It’s also just kind of trying to figure out the right alignments, and playing with each other — capitalizing on our strengths.

“They kind of realized that (in late December),” he said. “The effort has never been an issue. They’re just starting to figure out that they have to go in there in the right mind set to execute to our strengths.”

Lastly, Sansom said he hopes the team ends the season on a high note.

“We hope we can build off of three wins we’ve gotten, and having won another area game,” Sansom said. “I hope we can compete the rest of the way out.

“We’re going to have to execute in our style,” he said. “Our goal is to still be in the mix when it comes down to where the area is going to be played, and get in the area championship game somehow to extend our season.”