The Bearcats got game experience on Wednesday against Crisp Co.

Published 4:58 pm Friday, June 16, 2017

Summer basketball games are an opportunity for teams to develop and for coaches to gauge where their team stands after an off-season program. On Wednesday, the Bainbridge Bearcat basketball team took the floor against Crisp County in what turned out to be a high scoring event that came down to the last shot.

Aside from the last second finish, which saw Bainbridge fall short after clawing back in the last minute, there were some positive takeaways from the game.

Email newsletter signup

“Our big emphasis going into the summer was to get better defensively,” said head coach Terry Smith. “Three fourths of this summer has been, primarily, that’s been our focus.”

On Wednesday, the Bearcats seem to have responded well to the defensive focus that Smith has implemented. The Bainbridge players played with a high level of intensity and brought on-ball pressure for Crisp County from the opening tip-off to the final buzzer.

While the score didn’t end in Bainbridge’s favor, the positive moments weigh more than the final score in the summer. This is a time for Bainbridge to get their feet under them and prepare for the season.

Along with defense, maturity seemed to be more clearly defined on this team.

“It (leadership) is much better on this team,” said Smith. “It basically goes back to those guys who’ve been under us for a year plus. They’re getting a great understanding of what the coaching staff wants and how we want it done.”

In the upcoming season, look for Clay Jeffery and Jaylyn Scott to be vocal leaders on this team per Smith.

“They’re great character kids,” said Smith. “From a basketball standpoint, we need those type of kids in our program.”

On the offensive side, the Bearcats will continue to play an up-tempo style of offense.

Due to their lack of size, they can afford to get out and run the floor.

“We have James Soden who is a rising junior and he’s around 6’5-6’6’,” said Smith. “We have some guys who are rising sophomores, but most of our height is in our younger group. We will still have to continue to play the up-tempo.”

Overall, with more pieces falling into place for this upcoming season, coach Smith is excited about the defensive tenacity that this group brings to the table.

“They get after it defensively,” said Smith. “We really have a chance to be pretty, pretty good defensively if we continue to buy in and continue to be coach-able and do what we’re supposed to do.”