Cougars successful with balanced attack, chemistry
By Gary Lloyd
Daniel Foy calls it an equal opportunity offense.
On most nights, teams playing against Clay-Chalkville try to slow down senior Marcus Baldwin, a versatile guard who can get to the rim and consistently knock down 3-pointers. Opponents use a box-and-one defense and slant defenders toward Baldwin.
“That really doesn’t scare us,” said second-year Clay-Chalkville coach Daniel Foy. “If people want to box-and-one or shade or slant their defense to take him away, we really don’t worry about it. We just let the other kids we feel like can score step up for their opportunity.”
The offensive philosophy works. Nine — Baldwin, Cory Judkins, Cedric Barnes, Darius Jordan, Sean Burrell, Hasan Abdullah, B.J. Harper, Brian Blackshear and Terrelle West — of Clay-Chalkville’s 16 players have scored in double figures this season. Six of them — Baldwin, Judkins, Barnes, Jordan, Burrell and Abdullah — have led the team in scoring in a particular game.
“They don’t get hung up on who’s scoring the points,” Foy said. “They’re all competitive and want to be the best they can be, but they’re all unselfish.”
Depth, balance and chemistry are Clay-Chalkville’s strengths. They have experience with seven seniors and talented underclassmen. This being Foy’s second year helps, too.
“The first year you take over a program is the hardest because you’re inheriting kids,” Foy said. “They’re learning about you and you’re learning about them. The second year is so much easier. They know the drills and how I want things done.”
Clay-Chalkville (15-4) hosts Gadsden City on Friday in an important area game that will go a long way in determining which team hosts the Class 6A, Area 13 tournament Feb. 7-11. The game tips off at 7:30 p.m. and will be televised on Channel 2 on Comcast/Charter and Channel 68 on DirecTV.
“We want to host the area tournament,” Foy said. “We’ll have a chance, and that’s huge.”
Contact Gary Lloyd at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.