Howard Counting on Experience and Depth in State Tournament
Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) The Howard Hustlin’ Tigers are heading to the state tournament for the second time in three years. They have experience and depth on their side as they get ready for Thursday’s quarterfinal game. News 12’s Angela Moryan caught up with the Tigers before their trip to Murfreesboro.
Said Howard head coach James Talley: “Our goal was always to at least qualify for the state tournament. It was never to win a region or district because Howard High School, traditionally we have those.”
The Howard Hustlin’ Tigers fell just short of the state tournament last year, so this year, they had only one goal … get to that state game.
Said guard Meechie Bowens: “Everything in Chattanooga, you can win it, but we ain’t trying to win. We’re trying to get the bigger ball.”
Said Talley: “We didn’t want to look at the short term things. We wanted to shoot for the moon, and here we are. We still have a chance.”
The glory of the Glass House won’t be new to this Tigers team. This year’s seniors were sophomores when Howard lost in the quarterfinals two years ago.
Said forward Kerrick Thorne: “I was on the court nervous, I remember. I had the butterflies. Then when I started to get on a roll, it was just pass it to me. I kept scoring, getting rebounds, doing everything I can.”
Said Talley: “Two years ago, it was an enormous amount of pressure to just produce. Success has always been the expectation at Howard High School, and we hadn’t lived up to that expectation for a couple years up until that point. This year, the guys are here and they’re family. Regardless of the outcome, we’re going to go out there and have fun. The expectation is to win.”
Said forward Chris Hall: “The seniors, we got more experience this year from last time we went. I feel like we have a lot more players that play more.”
Said Thorne: “We have more chemistry, and a better team. We all come together as one because we’ve been together for so long. The spark has always been there since we went to state our first time.”
Said Talley: “There are some schools, there are some legendary coaches that have never made it to the state tournament, so for them to make it twice is a big success.”