• 75°

Tigers battle in Larry Chapman Tournament

The varsity boys basketball team of Greenville High School is dotting its I’s and crossing its T’s prior to area play in 2018 by racking up on tournament experience.

Most recently, the team was in action Dec. 20-23 for the 2017 Larry Chapman Tournament, hosted at Auburn University at Montgomery.

The Tigers faced a trio of strong–and more importantly, uncommon–opponents, which Greenville head basketball coach Marcus Mickles considered a boon for his team with area play on the horizon.

“It was a great experience to get the opportunity to play people we usually don’t play,” Mickles said.

“It allowed us to get new looks from what we usually see with our common opponents, so it helped us out. It gave us a big challenge throughout those three days there.”

The Tigers overcame a 15-point deficit to force overtime against their first opponent, Montgomery Catholic, but ultimately fell just 2 points shy.

“They were really good,” Mickles said. “We just came out sluggish and we didn’t show up. 

“After the first half, we went in and had a conversation. They came out and played hard; they gave me extreme effort and we got back in the game by making a shot 3 seconds before the end of the fourth to send it to overtime. And in overtime, they just outlasted us.”

Mickles said that the Tigers fared better at the start against Sidney Lanier, a former area opponent for Greenville that moved up a classification.

“We started off fast against Lanier, and towards the end of the half we started turning the ball over and went downhill from there,” Mickles said. “We started making careless turnovers and we got outrebounded.”

The third time proved the charm for Greenville as the Tigers dominated their final opponent, Brookwood of Tuscaloosa.

Mickles said that both last week’s tournament, as well as this week’s Dwight Madison Tournament in Montgomery, would prove instructive before the season begins in earnest on Jan. 12 with area opponent Charles Henderson.

“It lets you know where your team is as a collective whole,” he said.

“It shows you what you need to work on.  And I like to play different styles of basketball that prepares you for the area tournament and region play, so that you’re not very surprised by what other teams can throw at you.”

The Tigers face Carver tonight at 7:30 in the Dwight Madison Tournament.