Tigers prepare for opener

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 12, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; With Tiger football wrapped up for the year, the entire Demopolis High School basketball team hit the court to prepare for the beginning of their season &8212; a home opener against Francis Marion High School next Tuesday.

The group has put in work over the summer, but head coach Jesse Bell said the first practice will take players, many of which have focused on football the past several months, back to the basics.

Bell said, in the short period the group has left until the season-opening tip-off, the group will progress from the basics to the keys of the Tigers&8217; strategy this season &8212; fast-paced, transition ball. To achieve the strategy, he said, the team will expand on and further utilize existing skills the group built over past seasons.

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Bell said the reason for the strategy is his team&8217;s lack of size in comparison with groups they will face in their area this year. He said upping the pace and forcing turnovers might be a way to equalize the playing field against larger teams.

Bell said the group will mix up what they are throwing against opponents &8212; hitting them with full court presses, zone presses and work in the half court. He said the players returning to the team have worked on most of the harassing tactics that will be implemented in the team&8217;s attack this year but notes there is a subtle difference.

Which of course means the group will need excellent conditioning to keep up the pace. To ensure such, Bell has the group keeping the tempo high in practice to match the intensity they need to show on the court during a game.