Considering the team’s degree of talent, that could spell bad news for the opposition.
“We’re probably right where we wanna be,” said Dutchtown coach Terry Herrod. “We’re starting to play really well — you want to peak in January and February.
“We feel like we should finish no lower than second on our side of [Region 4-AAAA].”
The Bulldogs entered the week at 7-8 overall, with a .500 region record.
Herrod has reason to be optimistic.
Leading scorer Donovan Jones — who will play receiver for Missouri in the fall — is back in the fold after having missed three games due to football commitments. His presence (and 19 points per game) gives Dutchtown significant edge.
Jones, the lone returning starter from last year’s squad, wasn’t the only Bulldog to miss time because of gridiron duty. Middle Tennessee State-bound Jordan Harris — a 6 foot 6, 325-pound space eater — is also back to man the post.
One good thing to come out of the dynamic duo’s absence is it allowed other players to step up.
Count Aundre Reid among them. The junior guard, whom his coach called the “best pure shooter” in the area, is averaging a robust 13 points a contest — including a 29-point outburst against Stockbridge.
Key players missing games is but one of the challenges Dutchtown has had to overcome in mounting their 2012-13 campaign.
High head coaching turnover had left the program in a state of flux before Herrod, assistant head coach/defensive coordinator for the school’s football team, took the reins in the offseason.
“It’s been a rough transition,” he acknowledged, “but we’re showing progress.
“Regrettably, a lot of these kids have had four coaches over the last four years … all things being equal, we’ve done pretty well so far this season.”
Herrod’s players buying into his philosophy — mainly being fundamentally sound and a commitment to defense — is starting to pay off. Case-in-point: the height-deficient Bulldogs have vastly improved their offensive rebounding over the past four games.
Attention to detail like that is what essentially separates the teams seriously harboring state playoff aspirations from the pretenders — a notion not lost on Herrod.
“The kids have worked really hard and tried their best to accept my coaching … and I’m really really pleased.”