Lee, a 6-9 power forward, is one of the top recruits in the state. He has already committed to play next year at UAB, a team he chose over Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi State, and others. Lee averaged 19.6 points and 17.5 rebounds per game last season.
“They have another guy (Lowell Furlow) who is 6-9, 330 pounds and is a junior,” Childersburg coach Al Barnett said. “I know some schools are looking at him as an offensive tackle in football. They have a real good supporting cast. It’s going to be one of the best teams to come to Childersburg since I’ve been at Childersburg.”
Dallas County (9-2) enters the game with the top ranking in class 4A. This will be Childersburg’s fourth ranked opponent this season. They lost to Ben Russell and beat Vincent and Central-Coosa.
Last season, Childersburg traveled to Dallas County and pulled off an upset win, 68-63.
“We were fortunate last year,” Barnett said. “We beat them at Dallas County and stopped a four-year home winning streak for them. I just think it would be a good opportunity for our fans to come out and anybody that likes good high school basketball to come out and see a good game. We’ve had a good day of practice. Obviously, we’ll have a huge size disadvantage, but our kids are really excited to get the opportunity to play a team of this caliber. They’re one of the best teams in the state regardless of class, from 1A to 6A.”
Barnett sees the two wins against Central-Coosa and Vincent as providing clues as to how the team can earn a win against Dallas County. Against Central-Coosa, they allowed just 32 points, while they allowed only 35 points against Vincent.
“Our goal is to try to limit them to one shot,” Barnett said. “Obviously, with their size advantage we’ve got to really focus on blocking out and screening out. We want to play really good half-court defense and make them earn everything they get and pick and choose our times to press. But we want to make them earn everything they get kind of like the game we played against Coosa Central. Both teams played really good half-court defense. The biggest thing is we can’t let them get big runs on us. I know Elmore County—an area team who is a lot better this year than last year—Dallas County beat them 82-31.”
Senior points guard Sy Butler has been one of the key players in the team’s defensive efforts.
“Sy Butler plays really, really good half-court defense,” Barnett said. “He’s a leader for us. He’s really, really fired up about the game tomorrow night. Like I said, he’s one of the best leaders I’ve ever had. He’s a real good defensive player and communicates well. Trevor Bates is a good half-court defender. Kel Mitchell has gotten a lot better; he’s coming off knee surgery. He’s playing pretty good for us.”
Vincent presented a similar challenge size-wise, as the team’s center Elton Datcher is 6-7, 220 pounds.
“We’ve got David Cowlin, who is a three-year varsity player, an undersized post player,” Barnett said. “He’s about 5-10 and defends. When we had the (Elton) Datcher kid come in from Vincent, David did an outstanding job on him. We’re just hoping that we can defend the half-court and keep it close and have a chance late to win the ballgame. It’s a good opportunity for a Tuesday night and for fans to come out and see some good basketball.”
Tipoff at Childersburg is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.