Keith Lady Bears guard Harriet Winchester dribbles up court during the Class 1A Central Regional last season. Winchester is one of the Lady Bears returning starters this season. -- File Photo

Keith boys, girls ready for return to basketball court

Published 7:54pm Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Keith Bears are looking to hit the floor running, as they prepare to open the season on Friday.

With a number of players that also played football, the Keith boys team is finally getting its full team together after the football team made its playoff appearance.

Tommy Tisdale, head boys basketball coach of Keith High School, said he’s been focusing on getting his team back used to the Keith system and being on the basketball court in game situations.

“I’ve only had four or five guys since October and we just got the rest of the guys in here Monday. We’re basically trying to convert from football to basketball,” Tisdale said. “Right now, we’re trying to work on Keith and being the best team Keith can be. We’re just trying to get our stuff situated before we can start game planning for Selma High or any other opponent coming up.”

One thing that Tisdale said has made things easier is the fact that the Bears have been through this before and return a lot of players from last season, including some moving up from junior varsity.

“We’re cleaning up some things and getting guys back familiar. I return a lot of guys and it’s a group with a lot of on-court experience, but age wise we’re still young,” Tisdale said. “A lot of the guys played last year, so the transition isn’t as hard.”

And with Keith opening the season at home on Friday against Selma High starting at 5 p.m., Tisdale said the Bears have been making sure they’ve focused on the basic fundamentals of the game

“What we’re doing also is fundamentals and defensive principles that we’ll be preaching from now until March,” Tisdale said. “We’re getting them familiar with running up and down the court because about seven or eight of them have been on the football field. Hopefully, a week will be enough time for us to put something productive on the court by Friday night.”


Lady Bears returning to action

With many players returning from last year’s team that won the area and played in the Class 1A Central Regional, the Keith Lady Bears are hoping to correct a few things in order to advance deeper into the playoffs.

Cecil Williams, head girls basketball coach of Keith High School, said conditioning has been one of the most important things he’s worked on with the team during practices.

“The main thing we’ve been working on is just conditioning,” Williams said. “That was our biggest problem last year falling short some games. We’d start off real good and then we’d get tired. We’ve also been working on skills.”

While returning his starting lineup and most of his bench brings Williams confidence in what’s possible this season, he’s still waiting to see how the Lady Bears react when they return to the court.

“It’s a tossup. We kind of felt that we could go in last year with an advantage and our character and our courage kind of got to us last year,” Williams said. “Right now, I’m at a question mark. I feel positive about it, but I want to see how my girls are going to do for themselves.”

The Lady Bears will also tip off their season on Friday at home against Selma High School with games starting at 5 p.m.

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