Teams peaking at the right time

Published 4:51 pm Tuesday, February 10, 2009

During my many years of high school basketball coverage, I have found that there is one thing that all coaches agree on—it is simply that you have to peak at tournament time.

With the Region 1-AAAA Tournament—which begins Tuesday, Feb. 17, at the Decatur County Memorial Coliseum—less than a week away, that is exactly what Bainbridge High School’s boys and girls basketball teams are doing.

Both teams entered Tuesday night’s final regular season games against Lee County High School Lady Trojans and Trojans at Memorial Coliseum with perfect 5-0 region records.

The Lady Cats, who were 15-5, went into the night with an eight-game winning streak while the Bearcats, who were 20-3, went into the night with a 10-game winning streak.

Let me give you some of my observations on why both teams are having such outstanding seasons.

Three keys to the Lady Cats’ success have been the scoring and rebounding of Alexis Burke, one of the best all-around girls players ever to play at BHS, the ball handling and scoring of Zaikia Dawson and the ball handling and quickness of April Thomas.

Other keys to the Lady Cats’ success have been the rebounding and scoring of Lashawnda Middleton, Megan Bell and Bria Harris and the shooting of Vanessa Jones.

The rebounding, scoring and overall leadership of Melzie Johnson have been a major reason for the Bearcat boys’ success.

Also instrumental in the Bearcats’ great success have been the ball handling, passing and scoring of James Lodman Jr., the shooting of Antroine Williford and that of Eric Vickers, who hit five consecutive 3-pointers in a recent victory over the Americus-Sumter County High School Panthers in Americus.

Marquis Williams has knocked down his share of 3-pointers, as well. Basketball is the ultimate team sport. It takes five players working together to be successful. One or two errant passes or a couple of missed free throws can turn a game around quickly.

Basketball is also a game that has a lot of momentum switches.

Just as was the case with Vickers in Americus, a player can get hot from beyond the 3-point line and turn the momentum around in a matter of minutes.

I congratulate the Lady Cats and Bearcats on their outstanding seasons and look forward to next week’s Region 1-AAAA Tournament, which I am sure will be exciting.

I urge local fans to come out, wear their purple and gold, fill the Coliseum to capacity and cheer on our two outstanding teams.