Published 10:54 am Thursday, February 4, 2021

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With a current 22-5 record, the Florala High School Wildcats boy’s varsity team has clinched the regular season area championship.

“I think we have definitely improved from our first area game,” FHS head coach Troy Turman said. “Every game was a little bit different because we have been mixing our lineups up and trying to find more chemistry. We have two eighth graders that we have been able to mix in in the last two area games so we can try and get them to have some chemistry with the older guys.”

Deeper into the season, Turman said his team has gotten a lot better at shooting.

“Our shooting has progressively gotten better as we have gotten deeper into the season,” Turman said. “We are just proud to get the wins and be able to host the area tournament. It’s the second year in a row. SO, the guys are pretty excited about that.”

Some highlights for the Wildcats this season are senior Mekhi James hitting 1,000 career points and senior Rashaad Coleman hitting 2,000 career points and taking the record at FHS for most points scored.

“During the Christmas tournament against Flomaton Mekhi James hit his 1,000 points for his career,” Turman said. “Then during our third area game on January 14, Rashaad eclipsed 2,000 in his career. We discussed it here at the school and I believe he is the leading scorer in Florala basketball history. He is well over 2,000 now and we still have plenty of games left. Rashaad is just a competitor. I arrived here in the spring of his ninth-grade year and the first year I was here, we were tough on him just trying to make him tougher to make him realize how much potential he had. Every year he has progressed. He can score in many, many ways and gets a ton of steals on defense. Mekhi is the same way. His game has evolved over the years immensely. Mekhi was also a freshman during the spring of that year and immediately I recognized that Mekhi had a very nice shot, but he was very passive. He wanted to distribute the ball to everybody else. So, we got on him about seeking out the shot and finding open space. The theme to the whole team has been shoot an open shot. There is nobody between Rashaad, Mekhi, Zacchaeus Reese and Anthone Stone that I don’t ever tell them to pass instead of shoot. I tell them to have confidence and knock it down. It has been nice to watch these guys just mature. Before the playoffs are over, we believe to have three guys to have hit that 1,000 career point mark, because Anthone is so close to it. We are really just proud of all of our seniors.”

Going into the playoffs and area tournament, Turman said there are still some things up his sleeve.

“When you get into the playoffs, it can become a possession game and playing a lot in the half-court,” Turman said. “So, we work a lot on our execution and knowing what to do, because the game will slow down a lot. We shoot a lot of free throws and talk about paying attention to detail. We want to install things that people haven’t seen on film. It all basically comes down to one game at a time. Right now, we just want to finish the regular season.”