Keith High School guard Harriet Winchester, right, drives to the basket during a game against Wilcox Central on Tuesday. Keith hosted scrimmages that also included Black Belt schools Selma, Southside, and R.C. Hatch high schools. -- Robert Hudson

Black Belt girls basketball teams gather at Keith for play day

Published 10:50pm Tuesday, June 12, 2012

ORRVILLE — Girls high school basketball teams from throughout the Black Belt gathered at Keith High School on Tuesday to get an early jump on the 2012-2013 season.

The Keith High School Lady Bears hosted a play day on Tuesday, as the Selma Lady Saints, Southside Lady Panthers, R.C. Hatch Lady Bobcats, Wilcox-Central Lady Jaguars, and Central-Tuscaloosa Lady Falcons were in attendance, with each team squaring off in scrimmage games.

Cecil Williams, head girls basketball coach of Keith, said his team did a number of things well throughout the day, but he still hopes to see improvement.

“Things that we did well today, we played real good together as a team,” Williams said. “We started off fast, played defense well, passed the ball well, but some of those things are things we still need to improve on, too. We didn’t rebound well, so that’s the main thing. The main things we’ll be working on are incorporating plays, and still improving conditioning.”

Selma head girls basketball coach Anthony Harris said this is the fourth play day the Lady Saints have attended so far this summer, and his team is working on coming together as a unit and gaining experience.

“(We’ve been working on) fundamentals, defense, offense, transition ball, and team play because we’re young this year. We’ve got one senior coming back and that’s Kendra McCovery at point guard,” Harris said. “They’re going to be alright down the stretch. Right now, we’re just trying to cultivate team play, some discipline, respect for the game, and we’re trying to remold them to understand what Selma Saints basketball is about. We’ve got some young people, but we’re going to grow them up before the season starts.”

Jason Bothwell, head girls basketball coach of Southside, said his team needs to work on being consistent.

“The biggest thing about summer ball is forming a strong sense of consistency,” Bothwell said. “Until we can do that all around, it’s going to be a long road. We’re a fairly young team with some veterans returning. We’re going to take some bumps and bruises, but we’re going to try our best to give some, as well.”

R.C. Hatch head girls basketball coach Willie Morgan said play days are helping the Lady Bobcats create depth on their bench, and he’s been impressed with how hard they’ve worked.

“We’re real young, but so far we’re playing pretty good. My first five is looking pretty good, but it’s my bench — I need a little help in my bench area,” Morgan said. “The play day is really for my young girls and to try to get them better. We need to attack when we need to attack, we need to slow down when we need to slow down, but other than that we’re looking good so far. I’m very proud of them. They’re working hard and playing hard this summer.”

Robert Rucker, head girls basketball coach of Wilcox Central, said his team is working on the basics.

“Today, they showed that they were real aggressive on defense, and then on offense they attacked well at times,” Rucker said. “They missed a lot of easy baskets under the basket not taking their time. We’re just going to keep working with the basics — the ABCs — until we get it the way we want to do.”

The teams will continue to work throughout the month, as R.C. Hatch will host a play day in Uniontown on Saturday, June 16 starting at 10 a.m. and running until about 3:30 p.m., with Selma, Sumter Central, St. Jude, Greensboro, and Keith attending.

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