Indians Travels to Face Eagles
The top-ranked Chipola Indians can make it 20 in a row Saturday night with a win over the Tallahassee Eagles in Tallahassee.
Chipola (20-1, 4-0 in Panhandle Conference play), has not lost a game since a 78-71 loss to Three Rivers Nov. 1 in Poplar Bluffs, Mo. The Indians won 16 straight out-of-conference games after the loss, including a road win over then-No. 1 Indian Hills. The team has taken their four conference games by an average margin of 21 points.
“I think it says a lot about our leadership and our motto, which is taking it one possession and one day at a time,” Indians coach Greg Heiar said. “This group has done a great job of that. In the past, we’ve had teams that have gotten a little complacent.
“Our job is to keep getting better and keep focusing on doing the little things that keep the streak alive and keep it going.”
Heiar said he has put added emphasis on his players not getting ahead of themselves this season, which has resulted in sustained good play.
“It takes a lot of maturity and leadership to be a consistent team, especially in today’s sports,” the coach said. “You don’t see a lot of teams who are consistent and have long winning streaks because they get complacent.
“We’ll find out a lot about this team in the next eight conference games. We’ll see if they can keep getting better and keep taking it one game at a time. If you get loose and take things for granted, that’s when you get beat.”
The one loss the Indians did suffer might have been a blessing in disguise.
“I think what the loss did was let the team know that we can be beat,” Heiar said. “It’s not that Three Rivers was a bad team because they weren’t, but we were more talented and still ended up getting beat. It opened our eyes and got us to play hard every possession and show up every night.”
Chipola is coming off of an 84-54 win over PJC Jan. 17 in Marianna. On Saturday, the Indians will play their third road game in four league contests.
Chipola won its first two road games 69-60 over Northwest Florida State and 89-73 over Gulf Coast.
TCC has already beaten NWF St. and Gulf Coast in Tallahassee, so Heiar said his team knows it will have a challenge on its hands.
“They play well there. It’s a tough place to play, so our kids have to come in with mindset that we have to do what we do one possession at a time,” the coach said. “It’s a huge game for both teams and will help to gauge how the remainder of the conference season might go.”TCC is 2-3 in conference play.