Jacksonville Daily Progress
The University Interscholastic League boy's basketball playoffs open tonight with bi-district games scheduled throughout the state.
Locally, the Jacksonville Fight'n Indians and Troup's Tigers will launch their respective playoff voyages.
The 32-1 Indians will be in Eustace this evening for a date with the Lancaster Tigers. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Tigers are the fourth-place team out of District 15-4A and are 14-17.
Lancaster has eliminated Jacksonville from post-season play twice in the past four years, including dispatching the Tribe 53-42 in bi-district play a season ago, so the Indians and the Tigers should know each other well.
“You have to forget about the records in this game,” Jacksonville head coach Brent Kelly said on Monday. “We either scouted them or have watched tape on 22 of Lancaster's games this year and I don't see how they were they (only) finished in fourth-place in their district.
“They are a fine team and that just shows what a tough district they come out of.”
Kelley said that he expects that the Tribe will have their hands full in trying to stop the Tigers tonight.
“We have to limit our turnovers,” he said. “They (Lancaster) like to press full-court the entire game.”
Lancaster likes to run things through Bobby Word, a 6-foot-3 senior guard who has signed with Oral Roberts University (NCAA, Division I).
“He (Word) has averaged about 22 points a game in the games that we have seen,” Kelley said. “We have to limit his effectiveness in order to be successful.”
Jacksonville held Word to three points in last year's meeting, but still came out on the short end on the scoreboard.
Seniors Dadrian Franklin and Daytron Thompson lead the Indians in scoring, averaging 10.9 and 9.4 points a night.
Kedarrius Buckingham accounts for 6.6 rebounds per game, with Franklin adding 4.5 boards a night.
The Indians average 12 deflections a game in their defense-first mode of operation.
Franklin has 97 deflections for the year, followed by Londedric Taylor (66) and Raybon Riden (55).
CARTHAGE — Troup (21-10), who finished the regular season as co-champions (along with Frankston) in District 18-2A, enters post season play as the second-place team out of the loop and will face Jefferson at 7 p.m. tonight at Carthage High School.
Jefferson is the third-place team from District 17-2A, having finished behind White Oak and Tatum.
Troup is coached by Jody Sorey, who is in his first year at the helm of the Tiger program.