County coaches weigh in on final

By Times staff writers
Published March 3, 2006

Compiled by Times staff writer Scott Purks and correspondent Jim Reese.

TONELLI: (Chamberlain coach) Doug Aplin has done a tremendous job of creating a climate where each of his players fills a specific role. They are a totally unselfish team and it shows.

As for Eastside, No. 30 (6-foot-5 center Jeremy Jenkins) will have to be neutralized as much as possible. That assignment in large part will fall to Kylan Robinson. Robinson is tough and he'll have to muscle underneath to give Eastside only one shot each time. I don't know if Chamberlain has seen a center as strong as Jenkins.

On Chamberlain's side, everybody knows James Devlin is the go-to guy and he'll have to play that role one final time. Screens will have to be set for him on a regular basis. They'll need all the starters and Jonny Mack and Mo Lightburn off the bench to keep the pressure on.

Chamberlain is lightning quick and intelligent. The Chiefs shot 77.3 percent this season on free throws, but they were only 5-of-13 against Port St. Lucie. That has to improve. The intangible element? It's got to be Aplin. He is arguably the best bench coach around.

GARCIA: Chamberlain's defense caused Port St. Lucie to turn the ball over 23 times and they are quick enough to do that again against Eastside. They'll have to closely guard No. 10 (5-foot-8 Alton Jones) and No. 21 (5-foot-9 Tim Shankle) outside. Down low, Mo Lightburn and Kylan Robinson will have to hit the defensive boards very hard. I see Eastside playing a man-to-man, which means (Chamberlain) will have to set screens for James Devlin.

Eastside beat a very good Lake Howell team fairly easily so Chamberlain has to play tough right from the start. (Chamberlain) fell behind by eight early against Port St. Lucie, but they can't afford to do that again.

The key again for a Chamberlain victory will have to be its tenacious defense, creating turnovers and turning those mistakes into scores.

You have to say Doug Aplin has done a great job. He's taken a bunch of good athletes and turned them into a top-notch basketball team. Aplin also makes very well thought out decisions during a game. His experience might well be the difference.

DZIAGWA: I was impressed with the size and strength of Eastside off the boards. A big part of what Chamberlain must do is not allow second and third shots. Chamberlain played great defensively against Port St. Lucie. They must keep that up. A big intangible is the Chiefs' bench. They'll need Jonny Mack to come in fresh and hit some 3s. Brandon Jefferson and Dontavis Adkins have to continue scrapping on defense. Eastside is strong underneath. Schuyler Gray and Mo Lightburn must hit the defensive boards hard. They have to continue to give James Devlin good looks.

This game will come down to rebounding. Eastside will try to win with muscle. Chamberalin must utilize its overall quickness and speed to wear down Eastside.