Winning on senior night is a big deal for a number of reasons. Mainly it’s because several young men will no longer play on their home court, and they want a win to send them off.
The Watson Chapel Wildcats will face the No. 1 team in the state tonight on their senior night, the Little Rock Mills Comets.
Wildcats Head Coach Marcelle Goins is well aware of the season that the Comets are having, and he's explaining to his guys how big of a memory it would be to knock them off on senior night, when some of his guys will lace it up in that gym for the last time.
The Wildcats’ roster is made up of seven seniors, and they've all played a part in the program.
"I've preached to them that it's no better way to go out in your senior season than to upset the No. 1 team at home," Goins said. "That's what we've been using as motivation."
Just like the Wildcats, the Comets like to get up in your face defensively and force turnovers. When Goins was asked what's the biggest difference between the two teams who play the same style of ball, the answer was basically that they've done it longer.
Mills senior guard Grehlon Easter, a Lamar University commit, has spearheaded that fierce attack this season, and in the first match up between these two he scored 31 points.
"The biggest difference is their guys are more experienced at doing it," Goins said. "Grehlon Easter has been playing forever, and they have kids who got valuable minutes last year. It's the same style of play, they've just done it longer than we have. It's about who can execute most who plays the hardest."
This senior group for the Wildcats is led by Kevon Mitchell, Willie Vaughn, Willie Webster, Chandler Tate, Kaleb Hill and Markevion Harris. They have all played a part in Coach Goins' transition as the coach at Watson Chapel, and he commends them.
"This group has been around for a while," Goins said. "This is they're second year with me, and I've built a relationship with them. They've had to learn the system on the fly. They've been a big help in incorporating my style of play. We want to send them out with a win against the No. 1 team."
Since Easter had a big game against them last time, the most logical thing would be for the Wildcats to try to stop him and make someone else beat them. However, Goins isn't going to take that route, and they're going to play things straight-up.
"We're going at it as it if as regular game because they have too many guys for us to key in on one," Goins said. "Stopping Easter will be a key factor in winning. If we can get better during the game, we'll be better for the next game."
The Wildcats and Comets are set for a 7 p.m. tip off.