Trojans counting on team’s experience

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 1, 2001

FERRIDAY, La. – The experience and leadership of a team’s seniors are an important factor in any winning program, especially in the playoffs.

Of course, it’s an added bonus when those seniors can score a ton.

Senior Ferriday starters Jason Scott and Derrick Williams combined for 29 points last Friday in the Trojans’ first-round playoff win versus Coushatta, and Marques Webber and D’Juan Banks have been constant contributors on offense and defense all year.

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Against Port Barre – a team with no starting seniors – today at 7 p.m., Ferriday coach James Davis hopes the skill and experience of his older players will give his squad an edge.

&uot;I don’t think experience will play much of a factor at first,&uot; Davis said, &uot;but on through the fourth quarter, it will definitely play a bigger role.&uot;

His seniors had the unfortunate experience of a second-round exit from the postseason last year with a loss to Newman.

&uot;I told them last year that that could be a learning experience, and that’s how they took it,&uot; Davis said. &uot;We won that first game last year and then lost our focus. I feel like we’re a lot more focused now.&uot;

The Trojans (21-11) will need their focus against Port Barre, which won its district, Davis said.

&uot;They’re really quick,&uot; he said. &uot;They can all put the ball on the floor, and they do a good job of going to the glass on offense and defense.

&uot;When you have the ball, they’ll try to trap you,&uot; Davis said. &uot;Overall, they’re a pretty good ball team.&uot;

But Ferriday has had success all season against pretty good ball teams. The Trojans nearly upset Mississippi’s second-ranked Natchez Bulldogs, and rocked Louisiana’s Class 2A by defeating No. 1-ranked McCall 48-46 on Feb. 6.

&uot;I use that McCall game as a motivation tool,&uot; Davis said. &uot;We came into that game ready to play. If we’re focused, we’ve got a chance against anybody, and the guys know that.&uot;

To counter Port Barre’s quickness, Davis plans to try to control the tempo of the game.

&uot;We’re going to be patient on offense, and play good man-to-man defense,&uot; he said. &uot;If we can keep them off the boards and hit our free throws, we’ll have a good chance to win this game.&uot;

Ferriday will play at Port Barre, which is located near Opelousas.