Another test

Jordan Robinson (24) and the Aggies will face Anniston tonight.

Bob Crisp/The Daily Home/File

Sylacauga High School’s boys basketball team will look to keep building momentum towards area play as it closes out the regular season at Anniston tonight. Tip-off is set for 7:30.

The Aggies are 0-3 in their last three outings against the Bulldogs when playing at Anniston.

“It’s an important game,” Aggies head coach Will Copeland said. “It’s been a long time, and none of these guys and I myself have never won at Anniston. It’s a tough environment. We are just looking forward to it.

“It’s another test for us before we start area play, which is the second season. … They’re well-coached by Coach (Torriana) Brown, and I think it’s their senior night. It’s a tough atmosphere to play in, but it’s good for us, though.”

Sylacauga (21-6) has won eight of its last 10 games. Both losses came against Talladega, which beat the Aggies 69-66 on Jan. 12 and 77-73 in the 2018 Talladega County Tournament championship game Saturday.

Copeland said he wants to see how his players answer the challenge Anniston presents.

“They’re very long, they’re very tall and athletic,” Copeland said. “They’ve got some good guys inside, and I’m just looking to see how we handle another environment because once you go into the postseason, you’re going to have to go on the road and play sometimes in different environments. You just have to get used to that.

“I’m just looking for our guys to be consistent. We’ve had a couple who’ve been out sick and we’re trying to get one back from a bad ankle. We’re just working on being consistent this time of year and working toward the most important season for a basketball player and basketball coach, which is the postseason.”

With weather concerns forcing county tournament games to be rescheduled, the Aggies have put in plenty of basketball in the past two weeks.

“Last week, we were busy with four games, but this week, we’ve had a chance to practice,” Copeland said. “Kids this time of year, they’d rather be playing than practicing, but we just trying to maintain that level of consistency in practice. We’re always trying to get better for what’s ahead.”

Copeland said he’s seeing players grasping that goal as the season has progressed.

“We’re getting some more consistency from our guards,” he said. “Malik Powell is a junior who came up, and he has been doing well. He’s gotten better and hit some shots for us … Jordan Robinson has been another guard that played on varsity last year, but he’s been a good ball handler for us and has done well.

“We have Malik (Crawford), Darian (Garrett), Erron (Bryant) and Keaton (Wilson) who have been with us for awhile, but those guys have been the ones, especially our guards. We lost some good guards last year in Khalil (Pope), Jasade Smith and some others who were good for us. But (Roberson) and (Powell) have been two who have been really improving their play for us.”