A ‘tough road’ ahead

Published 12:01 am Friday, January 14, 2011

Straughn’s Chris Huggins (10) in action during an earlier game this season. The Tigers play Brantley tonight. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Each of the three teams Straughn will face has one similarity boys coach Rusty Andrews said Thursday — talent.

The Tigers will begin their three-game home stretch tonight against Class 1A Brantley. Then on Tues., Jan. 18, they will face rival and second-ranked Andalusia in area action, followed by Headland on Jan. 21.

“As far as this group (Brantley) on Friday, we’re looking forward to getting back on the right track,” Andrews said. “We’ve got a tough road with Brantley — they’re very talented.

“Andalusia — everyone knows about. After seeing Headland, they are talented if not more talented than Andalusia,” he said. “So, if we’re not ready to go, then it’s going to be a long two weeks.”

Straughn’s first area game against Headland was a 27-point loss on the road on Tuesday night.

Against Andalusia (19-2, 3-0 in Class 4A, Area 3), the Tigers fell 62-26 on Jan. 4.

Andrews said looking forward, the team is anxious to play Brantley, which will be a good lead up to Andalusia.

“We’re looking forward to (the game),” he said. “The guys continue to work hard. They continue to make careless mistakes down the stretch in close ball games.”

But right now, Andrews said the focus remains on turnovers.

“We’re just focusing on trying to stop turning the ball over,” he said. “Our biggest problem is late in the ball game, we just turn the ball over and it costs us possessions.

“We’re not talented enough that if we turn the ball over — every possession is important to us,” he said. “For us to beat Andalusia, we’ve got to hold them to 50 points. We’ve got to play really well.”

On the Andalusia game, Andrews likes to remind his players it’s like a game of chess when it comes to playing the Bulldogs.

“I always tell them that when they’ve got the Queens, the Bishops and the Castles and all I’ve got is Pawns — it’s tough,” Andrews said. “But, I love them to death. They work real hard. We just need to get a little confidence. In the last few games we started to lose a little confidence in what we’ve been doing.

“I’m hoping against Brantley we can get some confidence,” he said.