Indians, Carver take court in AHSAA RegionalsPublished 5:59pm Tuesday, February 18, 2014
So far this season, the 2013-14 version of the Wetumpka Indians boys basketball team has tore down barriers the program hasn’t breached in years.
Winning 20 games in a single season? Check. Claiming an area tournament championship? Check. Hosting and winning a playoff game? Check and check.
Tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., the Indians (20-5) descend upon the AHSAA Regionals at Alabama State University facing another barrier. And this one takes the shape of Carver-Montgomery (22-4), the fourth-ranked team in the final Class 6A regular season standings.
Wetumpka head coach Ed Rogers said Tuesday afternoon, just like they’ve done all season when presented with a new obstacle, that they haven’t changed their approach.
“I think the kids are pretty much focused, we just got to play basketball like we’ve played all year,” Rogers said. “We’re not going to look forward, not going to train any other way for Carver. We just take it one game at a time. Our game preparation for this one is the same it’s been all year, so we’re going to change anything.”
Lacing up the high-tops inside one of the locker rooms at ASU will change the situation, Rogers acknowledged. The change in atmosphere and venue will take some adjustments, he just hopes his team can promptly adjust.
“It’s going to be a learning experience for us,” he said. “(The program) hasn’t been in this situation in a long time–by my count, in 34 years. So that type of environment will be a learning experience for some of our guys. We hope they learn quickly.
“That’s why we’re going to get there early, so the guys can see how other teams are soaking up the environment. I hope our guys can learn from it.”
On top of the atmosphere, Wetumpka will share the court with a team that’s “hard to contain.”
“They have so many guys that can hurt you in so many ways,” Rogers said. “We’ve got to play team ball, rebound the ball well, take care of basketball and cause some turnovers.
“We just have to play within ourselves. We’ve played good teams, and whether we’re up by five or down by 10, we just have to stay within ourselves.”
The Tribe’s defense guides them to the regionals, which opens things up for seniors Rodreka Jones, Demarcus Hutchinson and De’Arris Buycks on the offensive end.
“We believe in our transition, we believe in putting pressure on the ball,” Rogers said. If we can continue to do that, it’ll aid our offensive scoring. We just have to be mindful of certain guys in foul trouble. We hope our defense can sustain the effort Carver is going to put out.”
With another milestone within Wetumpka’s grasp, Rogers said his team’s focus needs to stay in the moment.
“Our guys need to stay focused on one game at a time. We’ve got two at Alabama State University and then two in Birmingham. Last week, it was five games, now it’s down to four. But it’s all about what we’re doing now.”
Follow live updates of the Wetumpka-Carver game on The Wetumpka Herald’s Twitter Page @wetumpkaherald.