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Rebounding key to Tiger chances
Mar 13, 2013 2:30 pm
Watertown faces athletic Lake County today
By Andy Reed
When Pat Riley was coaching the Los Angeles Lakers to four NBA championships in the 1980s, he used to have a saying, "No rebounds, no rings".
Rebounds will be a key statistic Watertown coach Matt Bradshaw watches when his 30-3 Purple Tigers play their first ever BlueCross Basketball Championships against Lake County at 5 p.m. today at Middle Tennessee State's Murphy Center in Murfreesboro.
Lake County is Watertown's opponent. And while the Falcons' 8-23 season has been in part the result of forfeits and suspensions, they are coming off a state semifinal appearance last year and a Class A championship two years ago.
"They have quite a few of their guys returning from last year's team," Watertown coach Matt Bradshaw said of the Falcons. "Very quick and athletic."
Bradshaw said Lake County likes to uptempo offense and take quick shots, even if they're bad shots, before crashing the boards. Because of depth issues, the Falcons are not a pressing team on defense.
"We try to play strong defense and let our defense create our offense," Bradshaw said. "Their offense rebounds well, crashes the boards well. We have to do a good job of blocking out.
"We can't let them get second and third shots off their poor shots."
Bradshaw said Lake County's post player is around 6-foot-2, meaning size should be even except when Watertown's 6-7 George Theragood is on the floor.
"They're not outsizing us, they're just out-athleting us," Bradshaw said.
Despite that, Bradshaw is not expecting Lake to press.
"They're going to be in front of you," Bradshaw said. "They're not going to pressure your passes.
"They're not very deep so they're not going to take a lot of chances because they can't afford to get in foul trouble. We've got to do a great job of attacking the basket and make them play defense."
Bradshaw wants his Tigers to dictate the pace, whether fast or slow.
"We try to mix it up, try to make them stop, slow down and think," Bradshaw said. "They have a difficult time when you're dictating the pace of the game."
The winner will return at 1:30 p.m. Friday for a semifinal game against the winner of tonight's late game between Grace Christian [23-10] and Richland [28-6].
The finals will be at 4 p.m. Saturday and televised statewide on PBS. Mt. Pleasant [25-3], Humboldt [26-6], Wartburg [27-4] and Clarkrange [18-16] are in the other bracket.
Riverdale girls' final televised Saturday
While Watertown is aiming for its first state championship in any sport, a family synonymous with Purple Tiger athletics just won a title, though no one outside Murphy Center saw it last Saturday.
Riverdale's girls, coached by former Watertown assistant Cory Barrett, completed an undefeated season by beating Science Hill last Saturday. The game was supposed to be televised by PBS, but technical difficulties in the satellite truck prevented the signal from being sent to the stations. The game will be shown via tape delay at noon Saturday, before the boys' championship games.
Barrett's wife, Stacey, is the youngest daughter of legendary Watertown coach, and current Wilson County school board member, Bill Robinson.