December 10, 2009 10:01:00 AM
The Pickens Academy boys basketball will have a chance to add a trophy to its school''s display case for the second-consecutive weekend when it plays host to its tournament.
Pickens County, which won the Southern Academy Tournament in Greensboro, Ala., last weekend, will play host to the tournament Friday and Saturday.
"It should go a long way toward helping us have something we can reflect on when tournament time comes for real," Pickens Academy boys coach Sam Pearson said. "It gives us the mind-set that tournament play is so much different than just regular-season play. It gives us an opportunity to experience that before the playoff tournaments start."
Pickens Academy will play Central Academy, of Macon, at 4:15 p.m. Friday in the opening round of the tournament. The other first-round boys game matches Kemper Academy, of Dekalb, against Southern Academy at 6:45 p.m.
The tournament tips off at 3 p.m. Friday with Pickens Academy playing Central Academy in a girls game. The other first-round girls game pits Kemper against Southern at 5:30 p.m.
The boys consolation game is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. Saturday and the championship game at 4:45, while the girls consolation game is at 1 p.m. and the championship game 3:30 p.m.
The Pickens Academy boys (5-2) beat Central Academy 62-11 when the teams played Nov. 16 in Macon.
"We played real good defense against them the first time," Pearson said. "We''re looking forward to getting that same kind of effort (on Friday). So much of what we do is built around defense until the guys can kind of get adjusted to basketball. We feel we''ll be in good shape if we can match the intensity we had on defense the first time we played them."
The Pirates would welcome a rematch with Southern Academy in the championship game.
"They''re one of the top teams in (Alabama Independent School Association) 2A, and they probably would have been the team the coaches would have picked to win our region," Pearson said. "The more opportunities we have to match wits with them, the more it will pay off when the games mean so much more."
If Pickens Academy plays Southern Academy in the championship game, it will be a preview of an AISA Class 2A, Region 2 game on Monday in Greensboro.
Meanwhile, the Pickens Academy girls (7-2) hope to get another shot at Southern Academy after suffering a 38-35 loss in the championship game of the Southern Tournament.
"I would like to get them again," Pickens Academy girls coach Wade Goodman said. "We play Central and they play Kemper and, hopefully, we can win and we''ll get to play each other again."
Pickens Academy made just 23 of 120 shots for 19 percent in two games in the Southern Academy Tournament.
"We could not buy a bucket," Goodman said. "We could not even make a layup. We started that last year about the middle of the season and we never could get out of it. I hope we''re not starting that again.
"Hopefully we''ll get them again. I hope we''ll be shooting better."
The Lady Pirates beat the Lady Vikings 52-42 in the first meeting.
Catherine Johnson led Pickens Academy with a game-high 16 points, and Alex Dawkins and Corey Dawkins scored 15 points each for Central Academy.
"It was a tough game for us," Goodman said. "They killed us on rebounding. Every possession in the second half they got the offensive rebound. Alex Dawkins, we couldn''t do anything with her. It was all we could do to beat them."
Prior to hosting the tournament, Pickens Academy will travel tonight to Tuscaloosa Academy.