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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Tigriphobia, Cynophobia, and Spheksophibia Descend On Mansfield’s Court

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Summer basketball practice came to an end on July 28 for Mansfield, Hackett, and Waldron as the Jr and Sr Tigers, Jr and Sr Hornets, and Sr Bulldogs hit the court for a three town showdown. All in attendance were treated to a front-row seat of what’s to come in the 2021-2022 basketball season. With two of the three towns having a coaches shake-up as the Tigers gained new head coach, Joshua Brown, and the Bulldogs secured new head coach, Josh Atchley. Hackett is still led by Coach Kent Elmore.

The scrimmage kicked off with the Sr High teams of Mansfield and Hackett. Each match-up held two 15 minute quarters. At the end of the first quarter, the Hornets were up 20-12. Hackett was able to keep that lead and ended the match 44-39. The next round hosted the younger counterparts of the Tigers and Hornets Jr High team. This battle was as close as they come as the score read 13-12 Mansfield at halftime and 21-20 Tigers to close the game. Coach Elmore had this to say about his Hornets showing. “We have to get better at playing harder and not getting outworked. We have some talent, but other teams seem to outwork us, especially on the defensive end. That aspect is nothing but a mindset. It was good to close out the summer with two teams who are well-coached. I felt we were able to get better in some aspects and also find out what we needed to work more on.”

The third head-to-head was Waldron and Hackett Sr High. The Bulldogs skyrocketed on the scoreboard and never looked back ending their game with a score of 26-16. “We always play hard but we got to keep getting tougher,” explained Coach Atchley. “Not have tough moments but tough ballplayers. We have had a good summer of work, transitioning to some new things. When ball season gets here we will have to be ready to go. Lots of freedom during the summer for our guys to play and develop but once season gets here, we have to fine-tune what we as individuals can bring to the team. It was a great camp! I appreciate Coach Elmore and Coach Brown for allowing us to compete one last day.”

The conclusion of the scrimmage saw a precursor to the Battle of Scott County as Mansfield and Waldron shut things out. In true fashion, the Tigers and the Bulldogs kept things tight when halftime showed 13-10 Tigers. As the final seconds of the game set in, although the Bulldogs were able to close the gap to a one-point difference, Mansfield landed on top 28-27. Coach Brown ends by saying “I thought the guys on both Jr. and Sr. High competed hard and that’s the main thing I wanted to see today. We have had 5-6 practices with each group so everything has been on the fly since day one trying to get plays in.”

“In Sr High, they had to adjust in the second game because we haven’t worked much zone offense and I thought they did a great job of learning on the job in-game action. Jr. High has a lot of bodies and so it was great to get to see them play! They work really hard and want to do right. I saw a lot of things we can build on with both groups. We have to do a better job of communicating on the defensive end of the floor and our overall defense has to get better. We didn’t communicate as well as I would have liked with either team but we will get there!”

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