Jeff Hall and the Glasgow Scotties are the No. 1 seeds in next week’s Boys’ District 15 Basketball Tournament at Allen County-Scottsville High School. And when the Scotties open play Tuesday night at 6 p.m., the barrel of every team in the tournament will be pointed at them. The targets will be on the back of every blue and white uniform.
But for Hall, that’s nothing new and, actually, it is a position the Scotties relish.
“I think a lot of the pressure that typically comes with being the No. 1 seed depends on the team. The pressure that comes with the top seed, I think our kids are equipped to handle it,” said Hall. “Having said that, there are no guarantees. It is tournament time and in the first round game, it is win or go home.
“To me, the most important thing in practice preparing for the tournament is to be consistent and work on things that you know will benefit your team. We’re happy being No. 1, but we have to come ready to play.”
Hall said he hasn’t done a whole lot different in practice getting ready for the tournament opener. He said if you sway to far from the routine the players know, it could have a bad impact and affect how the team plays.
“At this point of the season, we’ve had 26 games and about 75 practices. To start doing things differently, would add a lot of confusion to your kids,” Hall said. “When you prepare for tournament play, you have to be ready for different things. We know what Monroe has done in the past, but who is to say they won’t come in and do things differently.
“As long as we come mentally ready to play the game, physically ready to play the game and, being it is on a neutral floor, it should be to our advantage. Some may believe it is hard to beat a team three times, but that is certainly our intent on Tuesday.”
Though the record may not show it, coach Steve Kirkpatrick has the Falcons competing.
“In a tournament, everyone’s record is back to 0-0. And that’s why it is important you do the little things right, defensive pressure, contest shots, dive for loose balls,” Hall relayed. “Monroe County is the type of team that will come at you with intensity and we have to take that intensity and turn it in our advantage.”
And Hall said he hopes his team realizes the game isn’t over until the end of 32 minutes. He wants the Scotties to understand that Monroe County is not to be taken lightly.
“We have to remember it is a four-quarter game. If we don’t play well in the first three or four minutes, we can’t panic,” said Hall. “We have to just continue to make good plays and then in the end it will be determined. You don’t want to hit the panic button in tournament play.”
And if needed, Hall can always go to his bench, something that has paid dividends for the Scotties all year.
“Our bench is a weapon for us. I would like to think we’re at the point now that each player knows what is expected of them. And when we play those guys on the bench, we expect production and even a lift,” Hall said. “Five on five, teams can play with us. But it is those next three or four players that come in the game that actually make a difference and make a difference for us.”