Four games ago, Harris County boys basketball coach Tay Sorrell had had enough.
The Tigers have been inconsistent during the 2017-2018 regular season, and Sorrell was searching for answers. Now in his fourth season with the team, Sorrell knew too well that his teams traditionally struggled in the third quarter. Sorrell wanted a solution, and after consulting with his team they came up with an idea.
It’s an unspoken custom that both teams head to the locker room at halftime, but Sorrell had a new strategy: Why not stay on the bench during the intermission, discuss the necessary adjustments and never leave the court?
Crazy or just unconventional, the Tigers’ new halftime technique seems to be working. Harris County defeated Thomas County Central 76-54 on Friday, giving the Tigers a 4-0 record since the switch-up.
“The guys and I were trying to figure out what we could do to change up some things,” Sorrell said. “If you go back and check our games this year and the three years prior, the third quarter we always take a dip. We decided we were going to start staying out here instead of going to the locker room. We did it three games ago, and since then we’ve won every third quarter.”
Of course, the on-court huddle at the half can only do so much. It takes players showing out to make the most of it, which is what senior Andrew Grier did against the Yellow Jackets.
Grier was on a roll on Senior Night, hitting four 3-pointers as part of a 30-point outburst. Grier’s play continues to impress Sorrell, who recognizes how far the forward has come.
“He’s worked on his game and gotten his game to where there aren’t too many weaknesses he still has,” Sorrell said. “He’s taken it to another level, and he’s one guy who I really believe can go on and play at the next level.”
Sorrell credited the team’s turnaround to the players’ improving basketball IQ. He explained he’s stressed over the years for the team to be in control of the game, rather than him barking out what needs to happen on the sideline.
Before much longer, the Tigers will be in region tournament play with a chance to go to the postseason.There’s plenty left to be done, but Sorrell is seeing signs of a team that is getting hot when it absolutely has to.
“They’re managing the games now versus me doing it,” Sorrell said. “That’s the thing I’ve been working on for a long time since I’ve been here. They can see it on the floor faster than I can on the sideline. That’s what they needed, and that’s what I needed.”
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports