Morgan Academy’s John Ross Bone drives to the basket against Lee Scott Academy during a junior high play date at Morgan on Thursday. The Senators also hosted a play date for the varsity boys on Wednesday and will host a varsity girls play date on Friday. -- Robert Hudson

Morgan Academy hosts play dates to prepare for season

Published 7:40pm Thursday, June 21, 2012

Basketball season is still months away, but the Morgan Academy Senators are already getting a head start on preparation.

The Morgan Academy Senators boys basketball varsity and junior high teams held play dates on Wednesday and Thursday respectively, as Alabama Independent School Association teams from around the state were in Selma to participate.

Bob Taylor, head boys basketball coach at Morgan Academy, said the play dates have helped the Senators gain quality experience against good competition.

“It gives us a chance to get out and play basketball against quality competition,” Taylor said. “We’re working on about our fifth play date of the summer, so it’s going real well. I’ve been real pleased with the effort we’ve gotten. It’s a chance for our kids to watch other basketball teams play and see how they play, and play teams we don’t normally play during the year.”

Other schools that attended Wednesday’s play date included Southern Academy, Tuscaloosa Academy, Evangel Christian Academy, East Memorial Christian Academy, Escambia Academy, Clarke Prep School, Edgewood School, Cahawba Christian School, Lee Scott Academy, and Pike Liberal Arts School.

Taylor said the play dates also give younger players some time to play in a game-like situation.

“We’re trying to rotate everybody about every four minutes, get everybody a lot of playing time,” Taylor said. “Those who might not play a whole lot during the regular season get a chance to play here in the summer and have been able to get up and down the floor and do the things that we want them to do. Some kids have surprised us this summer in how well they’ve played and how well they’ve progressed, so that goes a long way.”

As for the varsity squad, Taylor said he wants to see improvement in rebounding, but he’s pleased with the pace at which the Senators play.

“We’ve still got to work on our boxing out game rebounding wise,” Taylor said. “I’m real pleased with the speed of how fast we’re trying to play. Sometimes, we get too fast, but sometimes we’re right where we need to be. I like the shots we’re getting. Some of them are a little rushed, but that’s a part of learning how to play basketball.”

The Morgan girls varsity team will also host a play date at home on Friday starting at 9 a.m., with the last game scheduled to start at 6:05 p.m., as the Lady Senators will play four games throughout the day.

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