The Class B district basketball tournament in Alma will feature two teams from the area.
Belding and Lakeview will open the tournament tonight facing off for the right to play the host Panthers in the second round of the tournament.
Both Wildcat coach Dave King and Redskin coach Brad Wilson would like to have seen their teams play better heading into the tournament.
“We had been playing really well,” King said. “I thought we had a rough game against Big Rapids Friday. We didn’t have all our horses.”
Lakeview lost Megan Leach halfway through the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament and won’t play in the playoffs.
“We’ve been a little shorthanded the past couple of weeks,” Wilson said. “Really for the last six or seven games we’ve had up to three starters out. But other players have stepped up. But we have everybody back, firing on all cylinders.”
King doesn’t know much about the Redskins.
“I’ve watched a couple of games,” he said. “They (Belding) have been very injured all season long also. But they’re a young team, very athletic, shoots the ball pretty well.”
Wilson knows a lot about the Wildcats.
“We know they’re aggressive,” he said. “They do multiple things. Defensively they like to press, they trap and run man-to-man. Offensively they have two or three different players that will score.”
King thinks the game could go either way.
“I think it’s a pretty evenly matched game on paper,” he said. “It’s probably going to come down to the usual things, defense and rebounding.”
“I think from an offensive standpoint we have to take care of the ball,” he said. “I think turnovers will be the key on the defensive side. On the flipside of that if we can disrupt what they want to do, get steals and make points we will help us. I think the team that rebounds well will win.”
For Lakeview though, there’s one thing that will determine whether or not they will face Alma Wednesday.
“We need to shoot the ball better than we have been,” King said.
Wilson said the Redskins’ one key is “execution.”
“We’ve because of the injuries and the different things adversity-wise we’ve dealt with we haven’t had the same group of girls on the floor,” he said. “We have a good game plan and now can they execute it. I think execution is the one single thing and there’s a lot of things that go into that.”