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Tygers Back On Hardwood After Football Postseason Run

Story By: Brian Skowronski

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 11/25/2013

It was an excellent football season at Mansfield Senior this fall, as the team made a run to the regional semi's and won a school record 11-games along the way. But the program's postseason success has cut into the basketball program's preparation time, with the squad officially making it's way onto the hardwood for the first time Monday.

A large number of the Tygers varsity roster were member's of the school's football playoff team and are beginning their transition to the basketball court this week. While these players are in great shape for the gridiron, getting ready for life on the hardwood is a totally different story.

"Basketball and football shape are two different things." Says senior forward Robert Jones who doubled as a wide receiver. "Conditioning for basketball is a lot harder, it's different type's of running. Football is like burst and wait and burst. Basketball is a lot of running."

Jones' senior teammate Mario Davison, who also played wideout during football season, agrees that the style of condition is much different for basketball. After Monday's practice, Davison said, "Being on the basketball court today was hard." But the 6-foot guard believes the team needs difficult practices to play Mansfield Senior's style of game.

"Playing the way we play, we need to run up and down the court a lot and that's the thing we need to work on the most."

Once the veteran Tygers get their "basketball legs" under them, the senior's believe this year's team can be more successful than last season's 21-4 district runners-up. The team only lost two player's to graduation, although one of them was Winthrop recruit Keon Johnson, but return a number of letterman from a stacked senior class.

"We're all a year better." Senior forward Jalen Reese says of the nine returning squad's 10 returning letterman. "We'll all spread the ball out a little more, play a little bit of defense and when you're better [individually], your all around game is better."

Because of the Tygers run in the football playoffs, the team will not play during opening weekend and will begin their season on Friday, December 6. Mansfield Senior's opponent will be bitter cross-town rival Madison, which is a tough conference game right from the get-go, but Tygers second year head coach JT Reese like's the challenge.

"It's good for us simply because it's right now." Reese says of playing the Rams on opening night. "Our guys will be motivated."

Mansfield Senior will host Madison at Pete Henry Gymnasium in their first game of the season. The Rams are coming off a tough 2-21 campaign, with the Tygers sweeping them last season in route to an undefeated OCC championship run.

   
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