Area opportunity

Published 12:03 am Thursday, December 20, 2012

Straughn’s JD Driver (right) dribbles past Red Level’s Dee Tolbert Monday night in regular season action. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Straughn and Opp will do battle in area action tonight on the hardwood at OHS.

The Tigers enter the game with an undefeated record at 7-0 overall, and 1-0 in Class 3A, Area 2. Their most recent win came at Red Level, where SHS won 46-38.

On the other hand, Opp’s only won one game this season, but is steadily improving with each game, Bobcats coach Sterling Driver said.

“Straughn’s got a very good team,” Driver said. “They haven’t lost yet. We don’t necessarily practice for certain teams.

“We do what we do best, try to work on our mistakes at practice,” he said. “They’ve got some good shooting guards, take care of the ball and are fundamentally sound outside and inside.”

The Tigers have already played an area game this season, defeating Excel 67-57 last week.

SHS coach Rusty Andrews said tonight’s game is another good opportunity to play an important game on the road.

“It’s a big ball game because it’s an area game,” Andrews said. “It’s on the road and anytime you play your hometown rivals, more or less Opp and Andalusia, we expect to get their very best.

“We’ve just got to come out and take care of business,” he said. “If we’ll play to our potential, then I’ll feel comfortable.”

Seven games into the season, Straughn has played at a higher rate of tempo on both sides of the ball.

The Tigers have shooters JD Driver, Brice Scott and Jasper Bowdoin, who can all put the ball in the basket from anywhere.

Down low and usually in the post is SHS senior Hobie Hughes, who stands at 6-foot-10.

Driver said Hughes is a “big target” for SHS on both sides of the ball.

Opp’s Ty White goes up for a jump shot in the first half of the Bobcats’ game against Pleasant Home. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

“He’s going to be hard to get inside and create contact with him,” Driver said. “I’m not going to say whether we’re going to double-team him or not. We’re going to get after it.”

Last week, Opp’s first win of the season came at Pleasant Home, where Bobcat guards JaKeith Edwards and Ty White put on a good show for the spectators.

However, in Tuesday’s loss to Red Level, Opp’s Mandarious Mount scored 13 points to also pose a possible threat to the Tigers.

When asked how a team stops another with good athletes, Andrews said it takes “good old (defense).”

“That’s what we work on each day,” Andrews said.

Driver said Straughn’s going to be the most fundamentally-sound bunch his team will face this season.

“Coach Andrews coaches them up very well,” Driver said. “It’s going to be a challenge for us tomorrow night.”

Andrews said his main concern going into tonight’s game, as in any game, is Straughn.

“I tell them you take care of your business, and you worry about what you’re suposed to do,” he said. “You have no control over the other team. All you can do is control your team.”

Tip off tonight will be at 4:30 with the B-team.