Tornadoes ready for tough region foes this week
Both Philadelphia Tornado basketball teams will be tested during their first week back from the Christmas break.
The Tornado teams were to be competing in the Newton High School showcase Tuesday. The Philadelphia boys were to play the Laurel Golden Tornadoes, while the Lady Tornadoes were to take on Wayne County. Both Tornado teams were to visit Kemper County on Friday in their first Region 5-2A game.
The Philadelphia High School Lady Tornadoes are 5-5.
“We have been in the gym working hard,” said Coach Danielle Spurlock. “Even over the break, we have been coming in trying to get some conditioning work in and working on our shots.
“I know after the break, everyone wants to take time off, but this is the tough part. When you come back, you go right into region play. You have to keep the mindset of playing and practicing.”
Jaiden Burnside is the team’s leading scorer, averaging around 15 points per game.
“We are going to compete in our region,” said Spurlock, who led the Lady Tornadoes to the region finals last season. “We are going to work hard and put our best foot forward. I am still waiting for a couple of my girls to step up and play to their potential.”
Coach Francisco Wilson’s Tornadoes stand at 4-6.
“We are going to play a tough schedule coming back,” Wilson said. “We won two in a row, and then we let two get away. We are trying to stay away from COVID. Out of 20 kids, we have 18 who have not shown any symptoms. We are trying to keep it from spreading, so we didn’t get together as much over the holidays.”
Devonte Scott is the team’s leading scorer with 18 points per game. Andrew Crowder is averaging 11 points per game and is playing center.
“We are in a tough region, and it could go either way,” Wilson said. “Kemper and Newton High School are tough. I am hearing Nanih Waiya and Lake have played well. Like I said, it could go either way. If we can stay in the top one or two, maybe win a couple of games on the road and all of the home games, it will help.”