COVINGTON - Monday's cancellation of school could have a big impact on the Rockdale boys basketball team as it prepares to meet No. 1 Miller Grove at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the second round of the Class AAAA tournament.
"The snow day has really hurt me," Rockdale coach Alvin Williams said. "We need about a week to prepare, but now we're going to have one day to prepare. That's just a sad situation, but it's out of our hands. There's nothing we can do to control that. We're just going to have to do the best we can do in that one day."
Although the Wolverines are in the same situation, Williams said it won't have the same impact on them as it will on the younger Rockdale team.
"They have a senior-led, very talented, very long, very athletic team," he said. "For their type team, you really have to prepare and get everybody on the same page. Sometimes that really takes longer than one day."
Besides having eight seniors on the team, Miller Grove also has plenty of height. Five players are listed at 6-foot-5 or taller.
Amongst the Wolverines' big guys are 6-9 junior Donte Williams, 6-8 freshman Tony Parker and 6-7 sophomore Henry Brooks.
Miller Grove is averaging 74 points per game, including 94 points against East Coweta in its season opener. The Wolverines are also holding opponents to 59 points, with a season-low of 44 against Sandy Creek, Despite that, Williams said the Wolverines are beatable.
"I think that Miller Grove is a very long and talented team," the Rockdale coach said. "They have a couple of people that are 6-8 that speedy. I think they're very, very talented, very, very well coached, but I think they're beatable."
"I can see some areas where they can be a little undisciplined. But a lot of times their talent makes up for that. I believe that if I can get our kids to buy in to how we want to attack them, they can be attacked."
If the Bulldogs are to pull off the upset, they will have to count on junior point guard Cordarryle Bethley.
"I'm looking for my point guard to make sure everybody is in the right spot and to make sure everyone is doing what I want them to do, basically on offense," Williams said. "He's a good extension of me as a coach. If he can do a good job of that, it ought to help us tremendously."
In the first round of the playoffs, Miller Grove beat Sandy Creek 89-48. The Bulldogs defeated Murray County 68-50.
Julian Giles led Rockdale in scoring with 15 points, followed by Byron Lawrence and Darien Clark with 13 points. Kevin Ware scored 10.
Manny Fils can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SideBar: If You Go
Who: Rockdale vs. Miller Grove
What: Class AAAA boys basketball tournament, second round
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Miller Grove High School, Lithonia