Block faces tough test in Class 1A second round

Published 12:09 am Tuesday, March 2, 2010

JONESVILLE — Block faced a familiar foe in the first round of the LHSAA Class 1A playoffs, defeating Northwood Lena for the third time this season 69-56.

But the 13th-seeded Bears will face a much sterner test in the form of fourth-seeded North Central in the tonight’s second round.

“We know they’re ranked in the top five,” Block coach K.G. Watkins said. “So evidently they can play.”

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But despite the difference in the seedings and the fact that Block will be playing on the road for the 7 p.m. contest, Watkins remains confident in his team.

“I think we should match up pretty well with them,” Watkins said. “They’re going to have speed and a little height. But they do the same things we do. They play a fast game and an up-tempo game.”

With both teams playing the same style of basketball, Watkins said the game will be decided by the simplest of things.

“It will come down to the fundamentals,” Watkins said. “We’re going to have to continue to play good defense. We’ve got to eliminate some errors and turnovers. And we’re definitely going to have to shoot our free throws a lot better.”

Block has had a roller coaster of a season, and Watkins is hoping that the team is currently on an upswing now that the playoffs are here.

“We’ve had several instances where we’ve played good basketball only to come back and play rather poorly,” Watkins said. “Unfortunately, we haven’t been on a constant upswing. We’ve had peaks and valleys this season.”

But Watkins said the team should be ready to play the biggest game of its season tonight.

“During the playoffs, we’ve had the opportunity to come in and get well rested,” Watkins said. “There’s a lot on the line here. We’ve been looking forward to this game since Friday, and I know North Central has too.

“I expect to see both teams come out in the first quarter a little jittery and make a few mistakes. Hopefully we’ll regain our composure and just play well.”