Basketball teams are focused

With the regular season winding down and the Region 1-AAAA Tournament set for Tuesday, Feb. 14, through Saturday, Feb. 18, at a still-to-be-determined site, the Bainbridge High School Lady Cats and Bearcats basketball teams are sharpening their focus.

In my many years of high school-basketball coverage, I have found that unselfishness, strong defense and good shot selection are the keys to success at tournament time.

In talking recently with Lady Cats head coach Kelvin Cochran and Bearcats head coach Rickey McCullough, they have assured me that those are the three things they are most focused on.

Briana Wade, Ri’Chana Jackson and Diamond Bouie have been steady scorers and overall performers for the Lady Cats all season.

Leading the  way offensively for the Bearcats have been Rodney Glenn, Paul Chukes, Dontavius Marshall and Trea Kelly.

McCullough said his team’s unselfishness is on display every time they take the floor.

“It seems we have different scoring leaders night after night,” he said. “Our players are very unselfish. Their focus is totally on winning.”

McCullough had an outstanding record at Chipley (Fla.) High School before coming to Bainbridge. He is a member of the Florida Circle of Champions Basketball Hall of Fame.

Now he is arguably one of the top coaches in the state of Georgia, and more importantly, he and Lady Cats head coach Kelvin Cochran are great role models for the young people they lead.

“We don’t have any super stars,” McCullough said recently. “We just have good players who are willing to hit the open man with a pass and score when the opportunity arises.”

Cochran, who coaches linebackers on head coach Ed Pilcher’s Bearcats football coaching staff, agreed, pointing out that hard work and dedication to playing their best day in and day out are also attributes that his players possess.

I urge local basketball fans to come out this weekend and cheer our two fine dedicated teams on to victory as they host their first two Region 1-AAAA opponents.

Friday they will host Thomas County Central, and Saturday they will host Lee County. The girls games will begin at 6 p.m. and the boys games will follow at 7:30 p.m.

I guarantee you will be entertained by the hustle and hard play of our two local teams.

Let’s fill the gymnasium to capacity and let them know we appreciate their efforts. I’ll see you at the games.

Joe Crine is the sports editor for The Post-Searchlight. You can email him at joe.crine@thepostsearchlight.com.

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