SCHOOLS OF HARDWOOD: PCA hunts state final reemergence

Published 11:40am Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Head coach: Jason Roberson (12th year)
2012-13: Won the Class 2A, Area 8 tournament; eliminated in regional play of the playoffs.
Outlook for 2013-14:
Fresh off their first year competing the Alabama High School Athletic Association, the Prattville Christian Academy boys basketball team this season will be younger, but have more height.
“This group has a lot of potential,” said head coach Jason Roberson. “At the same time when I say that, we are very young. We have two freshmen in our top six players, and you always don’t know how ninth-graders are going to respond in that type of atmosphere. But I think they’re ready. They’re very good players, skilled players. We’ve got some height.”
With Montgomery Academy returning all of their starters from a year ago this season, ball handling and rebounding will be key for the Panthers to repeat as area champions.
“Our guard play is going to be crucial this year, we’re going to have to be able to keep from turning the ball over too much,” he said. “If we do that and pound the ball down inside and play good defense and rebound the ball like I know we’re capable because our size, then we’ll have a chance to win a lot of games.”


Player to Watch in 2013-14:
J.C. Emerson, C, Jr.
“He can be dominant this year if he wants to be, he’s just got to get his mind right. He’s got to believe that he can be dominant, and I think he’s coming around. He’s really improved over the Summer from his sophomore to his junior year. With this being his junior year, I expect him to have a breakout year. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t average 15 to 20 points a game and 10 to 15 rebounds a game this year.”

Head coach: Jason Roberson (2nd year)
2012-13: Lost to Class 2A number one Woodland in the state championship game; finished 34-1.
Outlook for 2013-14:
The Prattville Christian Academy girls’ basketball team loses All-State and Class 2A Player of the Year in graduated senior Kristen Emerson, who averaged 22.4 points, 12.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game. Head coach Jason Roberson knows his team cannot replace Emerson, her leadership and where she took her team.
Instead, Roberson and PCA plans to do it by committee.
“What I’m hoping for is that what happened last year will spill over to this year,” the coach said. “I think our ladies have some confidence, I think they’re smart and they understand that we’re going to miss Kristen.
“I don’t think we have anybody that can fill her shoes, so what we’re going to have to do is we’re going to have to have five people from the floor at one time stepping up their game.”
Roberson doesn’t expect his team’s tenacity or drive to change. With different personnel on the court, PCA will have to approach the game with m


ore of a defensively mentality.

“We’re going to have to make every possession defensively count for us,” Roberson said. “We’re going to have to block out and rebound, we lost our two leading rebounders. So, we’re a little small this year.”

Player to Watch in 2013-14:
Sydney Bell, PG, Jr.
“I’m really looking for big things out of Sydney Bell. She was our starting point guard last year and I’m really looking for her to be more aggressive. She didn’t have to be, she did exactly what I told her to do last year because we had players that she could just get the ball to. But I really need her to be more aggressive and more assertive offensively. I think she’ll do it.”

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