The Duncan Banner

January 14, 2014

Velma-Alma moves on, will host Wilson

John McKelvey
The Duncan Banner

VELMA — Velma-Alma boys basketball coach Kenny Bare likes winning tournaments, like the Black Diamond Tournament on Saturday, but what he would like even more is to qualify for the state tournament.

Knowing this he hasn’t seen a malaise of expectations from his player in practice. They are still pushing hard to accomplish that second goal and welcome Wilson into Velma Tuesday night.

“I don’t think we’re going to be happy with what we have done, because we’re on a journey to bigger things,” Bare said. “They really got after it Monday in practice... I think we’re going to stay focused and improve.”

Wilson will have more size than Velma-Alma is used to playing. The Comets used sophomore Jake McGuire to score inside against Central High on Saturday and Bare thinks he will step his game up.

“Jake has a really good attitude, and I think he will welcome the challenge of other post players,” Bare said. “Wilson does traditionally have good size. It will be a pretty good matchup.”

For the girls, they won their third place game at the Black Diamond tournament, but are still looking to get better. Both their morale and coachability are at a high even if the offensive production isn’t where Bare would like it to be.

“They’re doing all I’m asking them to do,” Bare said. “We‘ve got to figure out some better ways to score and come around offensively. I think we will. Some of our younger players are adapting quickly.”

The big game for both boys and girls is against Chattanooga, which is ranked No. 11 in Class A girls and No. 15 in boys. It will be the third game for each team this week. Bare knows that’s just part of what it takes to be a basketball team.

“You kind of are ready for that,” Bare said. “You just try to prepare for everything you might see and be ready to play each night. We found that with the girls, you can’t take nights off, because there are teams that will make you pay for it.”