Gettin’ after the ball

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Straughn’s Hobie Hughes had a double double in each of his last two games. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Hobie Hughes’ style of play is simple — get down the floor, post up and go after the ball.

The Straughn senior, who is measured at 6-foot-10, has used his size and versatility on the hardwood to help lead the Tigers to an undefeated season so far.

Hughes has put up a double-double in each of his last two games for SHS, and his performance on the court has earned him The Star-News’ Player of the Week honors.

Hobie scored 18 points and had 11 rebounds in the Tigers’ win over Excel on Friday, and put up 11 points and 15 rebounds on Monday’s win over Red Level.

Straughn spectators won’t be able to miss Hughes’ presence on the floor.

When asked how he uses his height in games, Hughes said the first thing he tries to do is get a good post.

“JD (Driver), Jasper (Bowdoin), or whoever the point guard or shooting guard is for the game, they just throw it up and they just let me go and get it,” he said.

Hughes said a big key to his success in the last two games has been his preparation.

“Coach (Rusty Andrews) makes sure we’re always prepared for everything and anything,” he said. “My mentality is always that these guys are my family. They’re the best I could ever ask for.

“They just encourage me so much to make sure I have the mentality of if the ball’s thrown up, that I go and get after it,” he said.

In Straughn’s Christmas Shootout Championship against Georgiana, Hughes faced some adversity when he went down hard on the court two times, where he suffered a back stinger.

Hughes said with some help from his father, he got over it pretty quick.

“(After the first fall) My dad started rubbing me down in the locker room,” Hughes said. “The coaches got a bag of ice. They got the soreness out the first time.

“The second time, I landed on the guy’s knee,” he said. “Dad rubbed it out and I was able to get back out there. These guys needed me and I saw how hard they were fighting, and it just sparked me.”

In fact, the Tigers needed Hughes a little more.

Georgiana kept the game close and uncomfortable for the Tigers, bringing the game back to within single digits late in the contest.

Hughes said it doesn’t take much to get his teammates going in a game.

“With these guys, they don’t need much of a spark,” he said. “There are very talented athletes out there.”

Hughes and the Tigers will have a key area contest against rival Opp tonight at OHS.

The senior said he knows what the Bobcats will probably throw at him.

“(OHS) Coach Sterling Driver will make sure they’re well-prepared for us,” Hughes said. “I know they’re going to take out JD and Brice (Scott) and keep them from handling the ball. They’ll double me on the post.”

However, Hughes is confident his team will rise to the occasion.

“I think we’ll have some more people step up and answer the call,” he said. “I know they will.”

Hobie is the son of Terry and Stacey Hughes.