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www.wmfd.com - With a win over West Holmes Friday, Mansfield Senior takes the OCC crown. }}" />

   
 
 
Tygers Can Lock Up OCC
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Story By: Brian Skowronski

 

 

 
 
 
   
   
  Originally Published on: 2/7/2013

Mansfield Senior is enjoying their most successful regular season since the Tygers went 19-1 three years ago and like the 2009-'10 squad, can win the OCC with an unblemished record.

At 11-0 in league play, Mansfield has just three conference games remaining on their schedule to complete an undefeated OCC campaign. Friday night the Tygers can clinch an outright OCC championship and they'll get a chance to do it at home against the team picked to finish ahead of them by the media.

The veteran Knights of West Holmes were the preseason favorite to take the OCC crown and have been solid this season with a 13-5 record and a conference mark of 8-3. They were blown out however, in their home contest with Mansfield back on Jan 4, 81-49, but that was without the services of All-OCC point guard Brady Arnold. On Friday the Knights will have their star junior guard back on the floor and it figures to make for a more competitive game.

"West Holmes will come in here fired up, ready to go and they've got Brady back." Tygers first year head coach JT Reese says. "But we expect to win all of our home games and we'll be ready to go also."

Reece's players agreed that having Arnold makes West Holmes a much better team.

"It's going to be a tough one." Tygers junior guard Malon Samuel says. "We got Brady Arnold coming here and he's tough. We're ready though."

"It would be big to beat them with [Arnold] back." Tygers junior guard Mario Davison says. "That's the team a lot of people said we couldn't beat this year and to beat them over there at their place and then to lock up the OCC at our place would be big for us."

A big part of Mansfield's success this season has been the depth and unselfishness the team has displayed all year. The Tygers have also been exceptional at home with a 7-1 record and the teams lone loss coming in a tight contest with defending state champion Dayton Dunbar back in mid-December. Mansfield junior guard Jameel Butts believes winning at home and sharing the basketball have had a lot to do with the teams outstanding season.

"To do anything big at home is always a key." Butts says. "We don't really care who scores as long as we get the win. To win the conference at home would be great."

"Bench players have an important role on this team." Tygers junior forward Jalen Reese says of the teams depth. "Our scoring and rebounding has been great from the bench this year and most of the time that wins you games."

Mansfield Senior has just five games remaining before the start of tournament play and can match the regular season win total of 19 posted by the '09-'10 squad if they were to win each of them. And it begins when the Tygers host West Holmes on Friday with a chance to lock up an outright OCC title. Highlights of that game can be seen on WMFD's "Scores N' More" Friday night at 11;30 p.m. 

 

   
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