LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – After school on Tuesday, the La Follette Owls put the finishing touches on their game plan for tonight’s match up with the Sentinels of Chattanooga Preparatory School. The Owls face the Sentinels for the first time in school history in a 7pm game at Pigeon Forge Junior High School. Prep, as the school is referenced for short, is an all-boys public charter school that opened in 2018.
“They’re a good team that will feature 24-minutes of pressure from baseline to baseline. They play like an Oak Ridge team,” said fifth year head coach Ken Weaver of La Follette. It’s a team that wants to speed you up, play fast and dictate the temp of the game, according to Weaver.
Weaver says Prep reminds him of Oak Ridge Robertsville. The Owls split with the Rams in the regular season and won over them last week in the semi-finals of the Area 2 District Tourney.
The Owls discussed how they will try to dictate the tempo of the game themselves by having patience with Prep’s press and breaking that press. It’s a press that you just cannot simulate in practice, Weaver adds.
“Jake’s (Hatmaker) gonna have to play big, and we do have a good ball handling team. Because Prep lives off the press averaging 18 points a game just off it. But it’s been our defense that’s kept us in games,” said Weaver.
“We’re up for the challenge. I feel confident, because we’re not there by accident. We have a chance to win it; just as good a chance as they do if we do what we need to do and limit mistakes,” said Coach Weaver.
Coach Weaver thinks if his team can keep the game in the 40s it would give them a good shot at winning. La Follette averages 46 1/2 points a game giving up 33.
A win tonight puts La Follette, 18 & 5, in Thursday’s Final Four at 8:15pm. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/01/2023-6AM)