Transition year for Coach Smith wraps up following Bainrbidge’s loss to Fayette County 58-48

Published 4:50 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Bainbridge High boys’ basketball team’s season came to an end on Saturday with a 58-48 loss to Fayette County in the first round of the state playoffs. The Bearcats (10-19) were even with the Tigers (21-7) through the first quarter, but Fayette County outscored Bainbridge 12-7 in the second for a 25-20 lead at halftime.

“We had a great first half,” head coach Terry Smith said. “We were really going to try to slow the game down because they are one of those up-tempo type teams. From an athletic standpoint, I knew that we couldn’t matchup with them.”

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The Tigers advantage in athleticism and size paid dividends in the third quarter as the wheels fell off for Bainbridge. Fayette County torched Bainbridge 22-8 in the third to build a sizeable lead Bainbridge couldn’t overcome in the fourth.

“We didn’t score and they had a kid that caught fire,” Smith said. “It came down to, they spread the floor on us. Their point guard, I had my quickest defender on him and he would just blow past him. We got undisciplined from an offensive standpoint.”

Bainbridge battled back in the final period outscoring Fayette 20-11, but it wasn’t enough to close the gap.  The loss ended a year of transition for the Bearcats as they adjusted to the new system that Smith implemented in his first year at the helm. The team also had to rely on a host of inexperienced players after losing most of last season’s major contributors to graduation.

“That transition year is typically the worst year,” Smith said. “You are coming in and you are implementing your system, your style of play and trying to change the culture into the culture you want to have.”

The transition wasn’t always smooth, but the Bearcats did accomplish one of their major goals by qualifying for the state playoffs.

“I think it was somewhat productive,” Smith said. “We were able to get to the first round of the state playoffs. If I gave it a letter grade, it was a C-.”

The focus now switches to next season and getting the retuning players ready to build upon this season.

“We have to have to a great offseason,” Smith said. “We have to get physically stronger and we will. We are starting this week as far as lifting weights.”

Smith added that part of their offseason will be adding elements to the training regiment that are specific to basketball and geared towards helping the players become better athletes on the court.

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