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If the Chiefland Indians boys basketball team thought this past week was tiring with three games between Tuesday and Saturday, well, welcome to this week guys.
The boys traveled to Cedar Key on Tuesday as a warm-up for that school's homecoming, then they have three games at home against tough teams — Taylor County on Thursday, cross-county rivals Williston High on Friday and P.K. Yonge on Monday, Jan. 28.
Coach Adam Boyd says he planned this week to be a tough one for the team. Playing bigger schools is a gamble.
“I planned these to be hard games for us going into districts,” he said. “It'd be a lot to think we could win all three of 'em.”
The District Championship is in Newberry in two weeks. Boyd expects Chiefland to be the No. 3 seed, right behind Union County and Baldwin.
Union, ranked No. 1 in 1A District 7, suffered its only loss of the season on Jan. 15 when it came to Chiefland to lose 54-41. That left Union 4-1 in the district.
“It was a good win for us, that's for sure,” Boyd said.
Baldwin County may be a tougher opponent in district for the Indians as they lost to them 39-53 on Jan 11 and earlier 46-65 on Dec. 11, 2012.
That's where the games later this week play a role. “It's going to be tough, but those last three games, if we can be competitive and tough in all those games … there's going to be no reason we can't be competitive in district.
“We can be competitive with the teams in district.”
The Indians won against Taylor County, 61-57, when they met on Dec, 7 at Taylor. “It was a lot more stressful than it should have been,” said Boyd remembering the game. The Indians scored 13-14-15-19 in each quarter to Taylor's 14-7-18-18.
“It's a 4A school and they have one big guy,” he said. “They are an athletic team so it will be a challenge.”
Next up after Taylor is another big team, the Williston Red Devils. The Indians will play host for the game. “They're pretty good,” Boyd said. “They got a lot of big guys on their team. At least three are 6'4” and over.
“That can be tough keeping them off the boards.”
Boyd said with the Indians, a lot of times the team is more athletic or equal to their district opponents. “That game (Williston), we're not the more athletic team and we're the smaller team.”
The team will get two day's rest before hosting P.K. Yonge of Gainesville. “I don't know that much about them except that historically they're good. They have this one guy (Van) Turner and he's supposed to be good.” He said the team will “need to move our feet.”
Overall Yonge is 11-8 and in its 3A District 3 play it was 7-1 as of Monday.
Of course, Boyd notes Union County beat Yonge earlier this year, so maybe the Indians have a chance to win the upcoming game.
Back to this past week — three wins in a row should be a motivator for the Chiefland team.
On Friday, the Indians took on Trenton in Trenton and walked away with another win: 60-39. The Indians were a bit tired on Saturday but they took on Bronson High's Eagles and won 55-45. Both were non-conference games.
The Union game, it was probably our best defensive game overall all year,” Boyd said on Monday. “Our half court press by our guys made them shoot over us.”
Boyd said the team stayed out of trouble with fouls. “It was a much better game because of that.”
At Trenton the team stayed on track “We played pretty good. We got out to a start down by 11. We came out kind of slow, but by the end of first quarter we were up” by 12 or 13 points.
It was at that point that Boyd “put some subs off the bench to get some energy.”
It must have worked. “We just kept going and we really didn't let up in that game.”
With one of the teams two top-notch guards gone to an all-star gamer the Indians concentrated on the other guard. “We were able to key on the other guy and I think he was in single digits. We harassed him and harassed everyone else.”
Bronson was a rare Saturday game. “I am not a huge fan of playing Saturday games,” Boyd said. “Whether we preach to them or not they're going to stay up a lot later on Friday night.”
However, the Indians were up at the half so they change their play.
“We switched over, took the press off and tried some stuff we were doing in practice,” But that did not last throughout the game. Once Bronson started scoring, Boyd brought back the pressure play.
“When we left off the pressure it took a while to get back going. We ended up winning by 10, but I let off the gas earlier than I should have.”