Greenville Tigers holds scrimmage, prepares to face Central-Hayneville

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 9, 2004

The boys and girls of the black and gold took to the court Monday night in their first official scrimmage of the season in preparations for Friday's game against Central-Hayneville. The Greenville Tigers practiced as a full team for the first time Monday as well.

The team was set with the exception of the football players that came in. But on Monday, Devoski McMeans and Isiah Mack returned to the hardwood.

This years squad of Tigers all have game experience. Coach Randy Fullington graduated four of his starting five from last year.

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McMeans is the only returning starter. McMeans, who averaged 19 points a game in 2003, had the opportunity to represent Greenville High School in the north-south All-Star game.

"It was a nice experience playing against people that play as good as me or even better," said McMeans. "It wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. I didn't get many opportunities to shoot the ball."

This season, McMeans will.

The Greenville Tigers offense will push the ball up the court in a run'n'gun style of offense that features the guards and the forwards.

"Our style of play changes depending on the personnel on the floor," said Fullington. "I like to run the floor and push the ball up the court, but if we are playing our big line-up it's going to be a more half-court game."

"We play run 'n' gun," said Gavin Warren, senior guard. "Every time we get it out of the net we are gone back down the court

Defensively, the Tigers will be just as aggressive.

Fullington's defensive philosophy has translated down to his players.

To me defense wins ballgames and we stress defense in our practices. We run a man-to-man, trapping defense."

"We've got the best defense in the state of Alabama," said Warren. "We play man, a lot of man. So one on one a team can't do nothing with us."

This year's Tiger squad has four seniors. They are Victor Mack, McMeans, Warren, and Curtis Fields.

Fields can be found on the post down under the basket.

"I'm ready to play some defense," Fields said. "The only person I'm going to let under the net is big Josh Hawkins."

Big is no exaggeration for these two young men.

Fields is the small guy of the inside duo, he stands 6'3 240. His counterpart Hawkins, however, is 6'7 315 and can shoot.

But, Fullington already has his eyes on who he expects to step up.

"Isiah Mack. I'm expecting big things out of him this season," Fullington said. "He's going to play some small forward and some big forward and we are going to be looking forward to him stepping up. Then our two post men, Josh Hawkins and Curtis Fields. Curtis is 6'4 about 240 lbs, josh is 6'7 315 lbs. We are expecting big things from those guys down on the post."

The Tigers finished last season with a 17-8 record with losses to Central-Hayneville, Calhoun, and Wilcox Central. All three schools went to Birmingham in their respective classes.

Also, Wilcox and Escambia County were region games.

Like in many other sports, regions change. This year, Wilcox and Escambia have been replaced by Carroll(Ozark) High and Eufaula.

Each team will play each other twice before coming together for a four team Area Tournament. The top two teams from there make it to regional tournaments with the winners going to Birmingham to play in the final four for the state championship.

"It'll be a good team," Mack said. "We lost a couple of seniors last year, but we are going to try to go all out this year."

In Monday night's scrimmage, the black squad led the gold squad through the two quarters that were played.

Flipping the coin for a second, Greenville basketball fans also got to see a preview of this year's Lady Tigers.

Friday night all three squads will be in action together for the first time when they take on Central-Hayneville. The B-team, the girls and varsity will play in games following one another. The B-team tipoff is set for 5 p.m. and will be played at Greenville High.