ECA loses two games in playdate

Published 10:22 pm Tuesday, June 2, 2015

By Derek Thompson
The Selma Times-Journal

Ellwood Christian basketball coach Darrell Walker said limited practice time was part of the reason for his team’s sloppy play Tuesday during Selma High School’s 16-team playdate.

Walker said many of his players haven’t been attending summer workouts, which gave him limited time with the whole team. After the Eagles first game was cancelled because Greene County showed up late, Ellwood had to wait three hours to take the court against Central Tuscaloosa.

When they finally did get on the floor, Walker didn’t like what he saw.

“They’re not taking it seriously and it is the summer time,” Walker said. “Now they see that when you come to practice you will be able to learn our system and be able to compete against different talented teams like in this tournament.”

Walker said the playdate showed why practice time is so valuable.

“In all our practices we probably only had a total of five guys at practice,” Walker said. “Once you get into a level of competition like this you got to have the whole team at practice everyday.”

The Eagles weren’t able to get it going on either side of the ball against Central. Ellwood was down 42-15 at the half and didn’t improve much on offense or defense in the second half.

Ellwood also lost its second and final game of the day to Wilcox Central 52-31, but Walker said he was much happier with his team’s overall effort.

“They played harder,” Walker said. “We worked our system better. Now we are going to go back to our own gym and work on the mistakes.”

Ellwood is also trying to overcome the loss of two of its seniors last season. Jalen Furlow and C.J. Grimes graduated, leaving a large scoring void for the Eagles. Rayford Mitchell, who scored 12 points in the team’s loss to Wilcox, seems the likely candidate to take the reigns of the offensive scoring load.

“He’s going to be our leader,” Walker said. “Basically Rayford Mitchell is the face of our school. You name it he does it.”

If anything, Tuesday showed Mitchell and the Eagles have some work to do before the season gets underway in the fall. Walker said his team will use their experience Tuesday as a learning experience so they can move forward.

“This is an experience for us to grow.” Walker said. “[We’ve] got to go back to the drawing board and see what [we’ve] got to get done. We also need to see who wants to play and who wants to dig deep because only the players who work hard wear the black and gold.”