Teams come together for pre-season scrimmage

Published 6:40 pm Friday, June 13, 2014

Dallas County players tried to defend the basket against Hillcrest High School Friday during Selma, Keith and Concordia College's summer play date. (Scottie Brown | Times-Journal)

Dallas County players tried to defend the basket against Hillcrest High School Friday during Selma, Keith and Concordia College’s summer play date. (Scottie Brown | Times-Journal)

By Scottie Brown

The Selma Times-Journal

Four Dallas County basketball teams took to the court Friday for the Selma, Keith and Concordia College’s Summer Slam Team Play Date.

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Keith High School won at the last second after going into overtime against new school Park Crossing in their first game of the morning. The team played well, and was able to hold their own against the 6A team.

“It was a dog fight,” said Keith High School’s head coach Tommy Tisdale. “We actually were in a real game situation. We went in over time in the first game, and that shows a lot. Of course, it’s not about winning or losing in the summer time but it put us in those situations.”

Like many of the other teams at the play date, Keith is trying to find a way to do with out their recently graduated seniors, but Tisdale isn’t too worried after Friday’s showing.

“We’ve got a void we’re trying to fill, and from the first game we looked like things were going to be pretty uphill.”

Southside High School faced their rival, Selma High School, for their first game, and head coach Cedric Brown said the team was at a slight disadvantage.

“We’ve got a lot of knew faces, so you know styles and things that we normally go over we actually haven’t had a chance to go over and breakdown defenses,” Brown said. “We’ve just been trying to focus on offense. Just try to give a good showing.”

Southside has had several junior varsity players move up to varsity after last season, but the team is still using the play dates to their advantage.

“They’re working on chemistry, playing together, the bonding aspect of the game, pretty much people playing the positions they haven’t played,” Brown said. “It’s all a growing process.”

Selma High School won the match against their rival, and head coach Woody Jackson said his team showed improvement from their play date at University of Alabama Birmingham.

“We showed some improvement from last week, and we’ve still got a lot of work to do but if they stay with it and continue to work hard, I think we’ve got a good chance,” Jackson said.

Jackson also said they were trying to figure out what works best for them.

“You may have to want to be a man team, or you might want to run up-tempo, but we’re kind of mixing it up,” Jackson said. “We let the opponent kind of help dictate what our style is and try and get up and down and score before the defense can set.”

Dallas County, who just came off of a 5A State Championship win and a move to 6A, lost to Hillcrest High School in their first game of the day. Head coach Willie Moore said he wished they had done better defensively during the game.

“I feel like we played well offensively, but defensively we didn’t do so well,” Moore said. “I didn’t feel like we gave the effort that we needed defensively that we needed in order to beat a really good team.”

Moore said that the coaching staff has been trying to keep their players level-headed after winning the state championship.

“This is a different team, a different year, so there hasn’t been any ego trips with our kids because we’ve got a different team,” Moore said.

Dallas County is also trying to find a way to work around losing three seniors. Moore has been playing his starters in the first half of a game and his bench players in the second half.

“We’ve got about six kids that we can put in the game, that’s why we’re doing what we are doing this year. We are going to continue to do that. It’s not about us winning during the summer, it’s about us knowing what our kids’ strengths and weaknesses are going into the fall.”

All of the coaches agreed that it wasn’t about winning or losing during the summer, but Jackson pointed out that the play dates were a way for the teams to get better.

“If you don’t get any better in the summer, you’re not going to be good in the fall,” Jackson said. “The individual works on their own, but I always tell the young men as they improve as an individual the team gets better.”