The defending 7A State Champions, McGill-Toolen, host Fairhope tonight in an area game. The last time these two teams met up this season the Yellow Jackets came out on top 67-45 in large part to McGill freshmen Chris Suggs. Suggs scored a game-high 19 points and Pirates's Head Coach Spencer Segrest knows shutting down the guard is key in coming out on top tonight.
"We've played McGill a number of times over the past two years, so we're very familiar with the way they play," said Segrest. "When they beat us here last time, they hit a lot of 3s; Chris Suggs hit six 3s on his own. So this game is ultimately going to come down to who shoots more, and who's better offensively. We know defensively they're going to do what they've always done, double-team Tevin. So for Tevin, he has to be patient. He's a guy who's use to getting off 18-20 shots a game, and tonight, he'll get about 10-12 looks. So when he does get those looks, he needs to be ready. He can't get frustrated; he can't get out of playing his game. He has to stay patient. I'm looking for Benni Gambino, CJ Edwards, and freshman Cole who had his first start against Murphy and really played well for us to step up and take over for Tevin. It's obvious that McGill has guys on their roster that are use to winning; Marlon Williams, Larry Rembert, and Carlton Martial were all successful this fall in football, and then you add Matthew McNeese and freshman Chris Suggs to the group and they're stacked with D1 athletes. Ultimately for us to win this game, we have to rebound and assist. It's the team who wins the rebounds and assists that will usually win the game, so it's going to be an all-around team effort working on getting rebounds and helping each other to score."
The Yellow Jackets have proven successful against Pirates guard Tevin Brown who is about to break 2,000 points in his high school career. They held Brown to just 14 points in their last meeting. McGill Head Coach Phillip Murphy explains that Keeping Brown covered is key in this matchup.
"Larry has done a great job the past couple of years being able to guard Tevin Brown," said Murphy. "And hopefully he'll be able to get the best of that matchup again tonight. We've played them several times already, so we've had experience and seen how to be successful against them. Hopefully we'll continue that success tonight; if they make adjustments to our matchup, then we'll have to adjust with them. Fairhope is a very talented group, so it will be a great game. A win tonight will help us close out the area that way we can host the area tournament at the end of the season giving us the boost we need going into the playoffs."
McGill leads their area with Murphy in second and Fairhope taking third.
Tip-off is set for 7:30 PM.