After a day-and-a-half in the city, it appears the Pensacola High Tigers have adapted to Lakeland quickly.
Friday morning the Tigers held a shoot-around at the Lakeland Center, which concluded less than four hours before tip-off of the Class 6A state semifinal vs. Largo.
In addition to picking up the feel of hooping in the Lakeland Center, the Tigers have had time to watch other teams compete in the arena.
It appears the Tigers have the focus that coach Terrence Harris desires, and they know what to expect in the state semifinal vs. Largo.
“From what I’ve picked up on Largo, they are a guard-oriented team,” Harris said. “They get up and down the floor and defend. They have a really good guard who can score in bunches. We’ve got to try to contain that. But I think they are a team we can compete with.”
Harris only bolstered his team’s confidence when he reminded them the significance of Friday’s game.
“I told our guys that we are one of the last four teams left in class 6A,” Harris said. “At the end of the day, teams are not going to be that much better. I think it’s really about how we respond to the environment of playing in a big arena.”
Sophomore Shawndarius Cowart said the team has been “staying humble and focused” in the time leading up to tip-off.
“I feel like we all gotta play our game and help the team,” Cowart said. “There’s been some laughter and we’ve been staying loose, but at gametime, me and my team gotta work.”
Follow the action through Twitter as reporter Brian Achatz will be on the scene and live-tweeting throughout the game.