Winterboro takes on archrival TC Central
The Winterboro Bulldogs take on archrival Talladega County Central with first place in the area at stake tonight.

Winterboro head coach Sheroderick Smith feels like TC Central-Winterboro is the best rivalry in the county.

“Anytime you play Talladega County Central records don’t matter,” Smith said. “You have blood lines that are crossed, and I honestly feel like this is the best rivalry in Talladega County. You have the fans that used to play against each other. The coaches know one another, and the players know each other.

“It is pretty tough playing in Howell’s Cove. We really haven’t had good practices, so I am real worried about tomorrow.”

The Bulldogs (2-3,2-0) enter tonight’s contest on a two-game winning streak. Winterboro took control of the top seed in the area with a 68-44 win over Fayetteville on Tuesday.

“This is normal with my boys basketball team,” Smith said. “In December, I spend more time with them because I have always been able to start basketball on time with the girls. Being that we really didn’t have a good summer, this time that we have been spending lately has been very well needed. The game against Fayetteville, I was thoroughly impressed with the overall play of my guys. Jutorrius Cook really had the game of his life against Fayetteville. Other players did some key things, but really when Cardri Duncan gets his mind right, I will really like the possibility of my team then.”

With Cook’s presence on the inside and the shooting skills of Nick Leonard, the Bulldogs have the potential of having a lethal one-two punch. Leonard led the Bulldogs to their first win of the season with 29-point effort against Alabama School for the Deaf on Dec. 4.

“Nick Leonard is really capable of having one of those nights,” Smith said. “Jutorrius, we are working on his post play to get a lot better and smart. These are legitimate options to have. We have players, once they come into their role, I think we can we a pretty decent team.

“Right now, we are focused on progressing game-by-game and understanding that the smart team will win the ballgame (tonight).

Smith believes the play of his seniors Cedric McKenzie and Taylor Garrett takes his team to a different level.

“Cedric has been consistent with his point average,” Smith said. “Taylor Garrett makes a lot smart plays for me. Those two have really added a dimension to our team. We are playing 10 or 11 guys a night and that is a good problem to have.

“Those two guys have really added options to our team, whether it is scoring or defensive or making smart basketball plays. Those guys have really come on. Whether they start our not, it really doesn’t matter because they are going to get good minutes.”

The Fighting Tigers (3-8, 1-1) also enter tonight on a two- game winning streak. TC Central defeated ASD, 66-49.

“First of all TC is going to be pumped up,” Smith said. “They push the ball extremely well. Their press really worries me though. I have seen them press people and it gave Fayetteville some fits.

“They have variations of their press. If we can’t break their press, we are going to be in trouble. They have a couple of good shooters as well. In order for us to get a win over there, we have to handle their press, because they are relentless and they don’t stop.”

Tipoff is set for tonight at 7:30 p.m. from Clearance Marble Gymnasium in Howell’s Cove.
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