MEAT ON THE BONE: Motivated Gordonsville Set To Face Middle College In Class A Quarterfinals

by Rusty Ellis

COOKEVILLE – The Gordonsville Tigers are set to return to the Class A State Tournament for the first time since 1996, as head coach Greg Bibb’s squad are winners of seven of their last eight games.

It’s not been without it’s challenges, as Bibb says it wasn’t until mid-January when he was able to finally put his full roster on the court.

“You look at the whole first half of the year, we didn’t get to put our whole roster together until about mid-January,” Bibb said. “That’s a true testament to these kids, they didn’t whine or make excuses. They just came to work.”

Before the season began, there was a sentiment that Bibb held regarding the team’s performance a year ago. He and his team both felt that they should’ve been playing long after their season was over, but they just weren’t able to get over the hump.

In Bibb’s words, he says his team left some meat on the bone.

“We just came up short, that’s just what happened,” Bibb said. “One of my biggest pet peeves is people who make excuses, and we did have some injuries, but we just didn’t take care of business…I think that’s the difference this year, we are playing our best ball of the season so far. The more time we had our full roster on the floor, the better we got.”

And right now, it’s a team that’s as locked in as any other, and upon looking at a Class A field that doesn’t have any true front-runner, it’s one that feels it can do some damage in Murfreesboro.

“Just walking around and talking to the kids, they’re confident,” Bibb said. “They’re excited to be the first team to make it there since 1996, and the confidence is at a season-high. The kids believe they can do it, and it does change when you get out there, but to see them feeling this way about playing on this stage, I’m just excited for them.”

The Tigers’ first-round matchup sees them take the floor across from Memphis Middle College, as the Bulldogs come into the game with a 20-8 record and a four-game winning streak of their own.

For Gordonsville to make it to the semifinals, Bibb knows that most of the focus will be on taking care of the ball and playing their style of game.

“They’re extremely quick, they love to press off of makes and misses,” Bibb said. “One of their best offenses is their defense, live-ball turnovers turn into points for them a lot. They’ll rely a lot on their athleticism, but first and foremost, we have to take care of the basketball. If we hold on to the ball and keep our turnovers low, I think we’ll be able to get some good looks in the half-court.”

The Tigers and Bulldogs will meet in the Class A Quarterfinals at MTSU’s Murphy Center on Wednesday night at 7:15 P.M.