Wildcats take momentum to AISA semifinalsPublished 10:29am Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Clint Welch hopes to play two more games this basketball season.
With an Alabama Independent School Association Final Four game on tap versus region foe Chambers Academy today at 1:30 p.m. at Huntingdon College, the Edgewood boys basketball coach trusts his team’s spread-out offensive prowess can pave the road to the state championship game.
“Just like we did against (Sparta Academy), hopefully teams can’t do that against us,” Welch said. “We don’t have just one guy that’s going to get 20 every night. Like Hunter (Glenn), he (had) 14 tonight and tomorrow night Josh (Crawford) may have a big game. It’s good to have balanced scoring, they can’t just focus on one player.”
Glenn, the Wildcats’ senior forward, recorded 14 during last week’s 55-38 Elite Eight victory over the Warriors. The team’s next highest scorer was sophomore Austin Brown with seven.
In the first half against Sparta’s zone defense, the Wildcats exploited the middle of the defense, getting Glenn the ball in space. He scored 10 before the break.
“They like to play man, but we thought they may play zone against us,” Welch said. “We thought Hunter would get a lot of looks from the mid to the high post, which he did. He missed a couple early on. But he followed his shot and he’s got a good shot, soft touch. He’s a hard-nosed player. I’m glad that he’s a senior and he’s playing better and better each game.”
Edgewood still found themselves down 22-19 at the half, thanks to the sharpshooting and savvy of Sparta’s Drew Hardin. In the locker room, Welch and his team changed its defensive approach, keying on Hardin with pressure, which led to EA outscoring the Warriors 17-4 in the third period to take a 36-26 advantage to the fourth.
“The biggest thing, (Drew Hardin), he’s a good player,” Welch said. “We thought if we could take him out of the game, we didn’t think they had enough offensively for everybody else to beat us. So we went to a little junk defense on him and try to get him tired, force some shots. Of course when he came out of the game, we went to our half court trap because he’s their best ball handler. And that worked to perfection, we outscored them 17-4 that quarter. That was really the turning point in the game.”
Edgewood and Chambers tip off at 1:30 p.m. with a state title game on the line. You can follow the action with live updates on The Wetumpka Herald’s Facebook page.