SHS boys to tangle with 3-point shooting Bayside

Published 12:01 am Friday, February 14, 2014

Straughn will be looking for a berth to play in the Class 3A South Regional for the first time since 2008 as the Tigers host Bayside Academy tonight in the Sub-Regional in their gymnasium.

Tonight’s game, where tip off is slated for 7 p.m., determines who will get to participate in next week’s regional at Dothan’s Civic Center.

The sixth-ranked Tigers (19-4) are coming off a come-from-behind effort win over Excel in the area championship, while the Admirals (11-18) fell to seventh-ranked Cottage Hill.

“They’re very fundamentally sound and shoot the three real well from all three spots (on the perimeter),” SHS coach Rusty Andrews said. “We’ll have to be at our best for us to have an opportunity to win.”

Bayside’s Spencer Newman is the Admirals’ best shooter. He scored 25 points in the loss to CHCA. Additionally, Seth Matthews also provides a threat for the Tigers.

“He shoots the three really well,” Andrews said about Newman. “He takes the ball off of the dribble and drives real well. He’s one where you have to know where he is at all times.”

Andrews said Newman will score in spite of containing pressure against him.

When asked how a team defends another who shoots the ball well from the arch, Andrews said it’s all about how you “close out.”

“They like to skip the ball, so you have to really close out and keep your hands up, and make them, when they skip the ball, have a little arch to it so you have time to cover it,” he said. “There’s no way you can cover a long three. If they do miss, you’ve got to make sure you get the rebound.”

“Skipping” the ball is when a player makes a pass from one end of the perimeter line to the other.

For sometime now, Andrews said he’s been trying to drive home to his players that now, it’s a one-game season.

“It’s a new season now, and you realize that if you don’t play well and don’t win, we go home,” he said. “Hopefully, my guys understand that. If we’ll play basketball the way we know how, I feel comfortable about the game. But again, they’re so well coached. We could play well and still come up short.”