Predators look to clinch region
Fox Creek’s boys basketball team is rolling in region play.
The Predators (15-4, 8-0 Region 4A) have used a combination of suffocating defense and a fast-paced offensive attack to put away their opponents. The only thing that has stopped Fox Creek in region play is the weather.
“It was good to get the win on Friday at Hunter-Kinard-Tyler, but not having practice that entire week, with the snow, really impacted the guys,” Andrew Peckham, Fox Creek’s head coach, said. “We came out kind of slow, where we normally come out strong early. That didn’t happen against HKT, but we were able to make some adjustments at halftime and settled down a little bit to pull away in the second half. It was good to get the victory and be 8-0 in the region.”
The lack of practice during the week, and the postponement of the North game, gave the players some free time to refocus for the stretch run.
“It felt kinda weird because we weren’t able to practice,” Marques Sumner, a junior guard, said. “But, some of us got in the gym and still put up shots.”
Sumner and Brandyn Quiller, the two captains for the Predators, are the catalysts for the team.
“We’ve got two captains on the team, Marques Sumner and Brandyn Quiller, and I’ve told those guys I look to them for leadership and to have them jump start us every game,” Peckham said. “They understand that, and it’s important that it happens. They’ve been doing it and really have done a good job with it.”
For his part, Sumner has worked to become a better leader for his team at practice and during games.
“(I’ve) been more vocal at practice and on the court,” he said. “I try to make sure we are where we need to be on both sides of the floor and encourage my teammates to be confident.”
While Fox Creek is on a run of 20 straight region wins dating back to Feb. 9, 2012; the last region loss came against Tuesday’s opponent, Ridge Spring-Monetta.
“We’ve got Ridge Spring-Monetta; and that gives us a chance to clinch the region, if we win,” Peckham said.
After the date with the Trojans, Fox Creek will go on the road to Cardinal Newman, a tough test for Peckham’s team.
“Thursday we play a big one, it’s non-region, but we play at Cardinal Newman,” he said. “They are one of the best teams in this state, as far as I’m concerned. They’ve gone up against 3A and 4A schools in South Carolina and beat them. We’re looking forward to that game on Thursday in Columbia. I hope that game will kind of prepare us for the playoffs, because they are a quality opponent.”
Fox Creek will host Ridge Spring-Monetta in a game that was to have happened on Tuesday and will travel to Cardinal Newman on Thursday.
T.J. Lundeen is a reporter for the North Augusta Star. Follow him on Twitter @lundeentj for more updates.