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Now the real season begins for Anderson County. Well, sort of.
The Bearcats' main concern is to get better each week, hoping to peak when tournament play begins. However, Friday's game with 30th District foe Collins will be a factor in how things shape up in seeding the district tournament.
"We want to play well in all of our seeding games, so this game is very important," Anderson coach Glen Drury says.
A first-year school formed out of Shelby County, Collins has gotten off to a 7-4 start under veteran coach Curtis Turley, who coached at Shelby in the late 1990's.
"He has done a very good job with them," Drury said. "They are very athletic and will cause us some match-up problems."
Collins, however, is not a program boasting many experienced players. It was widely assumed that sophomore Daryl Hicks, a star on Shelby's Sweet 16 team from last year, would be at Collins, but he elected to transfer to Louisville Trinity, where he is sitting this season out.
Senior Tevis Elzy was a valuable reserve for Shelby a year ago and is the best-known Titan player.
Collins has defeated Eminence in a district game and has two wins over Shelby, but that district seeding game will not be played until Jan. 14.
"They are going to be well-coached," Drury says. "We are going to have to bring our 'A' game."
Tuesday, Jan. 11, the Bearcats travel to Eminence for a game Drury feels is dangerous for his team. "That game is not in a good spot for us, coming off the Collins game, but when we get to the district tournament, that is how it will be."
Despite a 2-10 record, Eminence is a vastly improved team that has had several close losses. The Warriors have anticipated this being a key season for some time with some good, young talent. While the Warriors' immediate goal is to be competitive with the other small schools in the Eighth Region, Drury warns, "They are a quality basketball team and that is a very tough place to play.
"It is a district game and will be important for seeding. We are going to have to play well up there."