Published 12:00 am Friday, January 18, 2013

Pleasant Home’s Lance Davis (14) makes a layup during the Eagles’ 55-53 victory over Kinston during Straughn’s Boys Christmas Tournament in December. | File photo

Pleasant Home teams face Kinston tonight for homecoming

It can’t get any bigger than this, folks.

Pleasant Home will host Kinston tonight in not only an area battle for the post season, but for its homecoming in Eagles territory.

“It’s homecoming and we’re playing Kinston,” PHS boys coach Jerry Davis said. “That makes it about as big as it gets.”

Previous games between the two area rivals have been close so far this season.

The Eagles beat KHS 55-53 in Straughn’s Boys Christmas Tournament in December, and the Bulldogs got revenge in a 41-38 overtime victory over PHS on Jan. 8.

In the Bulldogs’ recent win over PHS, KHS dominated the boards and scored between 14-20 points on putbacks, the coach said.

“Most people don’t miss two-footers,” Davis said. “If we can correct that and make a few shots, then we’ll feel decent about (tonight’s game). Saying it and doing it is two different things.”

For the Eagles (10-8, 2-1 in Class 1A, Area 2) to come away victorious tonight, they’ll have to play together consistently, Davis said.

“We’ve got to stay healthy,” he said. “We’re playing with a six-man rotation and you can’t afford to get in foul trouble and get hurt. They’ve learned to play better together.

“We’ve got to shoot the ball better than we’ve been shooting it,” he said. “Our defense has been solid all the way through, but being young, we’re inconsistent. Every ball game, right now, it’s just a struggle. We’re getting used to playing in those down-to-the-wire games. That always helps.”

In girls action, Lady Eagles head coach Kelley Garner said it’s vital that her girls keep the task at the forefront of their minds.

“It’s a big game,” Garner said. “We’re going to have a lot of alumni and former players coming and we hope to give them a good game.

“At the same time, we’ve got to stay focused and not let the excitement get the best of us,” she said. “It’s an exciting time and great atmosphere.”

Other keys for the Lady Eagles (10-6, 2-1) tonight against KHS are to play defense aggressively and to cover the Lady Bulldogs’ scorers.

“We’re trying to be very conscious of rebounding,” she said. “We’ve been out-rebounded the last several games. We need to make sure we get in good position to get them and of course put the ball in the hole.”

Tip off tonight for the varsity girls will be right after the B-team game. When the girls game ends, the PHS Homecoming Queen will be crowned and the boys game will follow afterward.