Boys hoops: Senior guard key to Plant City's success

Channing Woodall's skills are a big reason Plant City is close to a state semifinal berth.

By Keith Niebuhr, Times Staff Writer
Published February 23, 2008

PLANT CITY - Channing Woodall's greatest asset isn't his jumper, ability to take the ball to the basket, passing, rebounding or defense.

It's the fact the Plant City senior guard does all of those things well.

"I'm pretty versatile," Woodall said.

And very valuable.

On a Raiders team that is 17-9 and a win tonight against Orlando Evans from reaching the Class 6A final four, no player has been more valuable than Woodall, who averages team bests in scoring (16.5), assists (3.7) and steals (1.9), is third in rebounding (3.1) and shoots 54 percent from the field.

"He has ability," Plant City coach Wardell Chambers said. "And it has been on full display the last two weeks. That's why we're on a roll. He has been the key. He has really stepped it up. He's kind of like a floor general Everything goes through him."

In Plant City's most recent game, a 77-68 win at seventh-ranked Lakeland on Tuesday night, the 6-foot-2 Woodall, a three-year starter, did a little bit of everything while finishing with 24 points. He consistently made open shots, continually frustrated the Dreadnaughts defense with his penetration skills and made several big steals down the stretch.

But as Chambers is quick to point out, "It's more than stats with Channing. It's his presence. He does all the little things."

Such as?

"Diving for loose balls," Chambers said. "Rotating properly on defense. Those type of things."

Woodall's postseason play is no surprise to Chambers, who is in his first season with the program. That's because, in his words, Woodall has "been consistent the whole season."

Not to mention humble.

Despite all of his attributes, the soft-spoken Woodall is one of the squad's least-assuming players.

"I'm not real talkative," Woodall said. "I like to come out focused."

Up next

Region finals

All games at 7 p.m. today

6A: Plant City (17-9) at Orlando Evans (23-7)

5A: Lake Howell (24-5) at Brandon (23-4)

A: Seffner Christian (17-12) at Bradenton Christian (25-4)