Sylvan Hills head coach Kevin Davis had to find something to spark his team. Going into Tuesday’s game at North Pulaski, the Bears had not tasted victory in the 5A-Central.
So what Davis did was something that he has never done — he started a freshman, and started him at point guard.
Cordy Winston got his first start in his first high school game and immediately impressed.
Davis said the Bears were turning the ball over way too much and he was looking for someone that valued the basketball.
"We had anywhere from eight to 10 turnovers form the point guard position alone," Davis said.
Winston had two, and one of the two Davis considered a "smart" turnover.
"He (Winston) was inbounding the ball, and couldn’t get it in," Davis said. "Rather than throw it in and give them a chance for a breakaway, he ate it."
Davis said it allowed the Bears to set up their defense rather than have to react on the fly.
"We are so young," Davis said. "I told them that they needed to change some behaviors, or we were going to make a change."
Being so inexperienced, Davis said he had been working the better part of the season to find the right combinations to put on the floor, but nothing so far seemed consistent enough to say that it worked well.
"We’ve got 15 guys that there is no difference between on or the other," Davis said.
The Bears had numerous qualities in the point guard spot. He had numbers, he had speed, and he had defensive toughness. Turnovers were the primary issue.
"Especially the way we play," Davis said. "It was taking away possessions."
Winston’s impact on the floor was immediate.
"Even our warm ups was a little different," Davis said.
Davis also said that the team had bought in immediately.
"He told me this morning that his teammates were encouraging him all through the game (Tuesday)," Davis said. "I think that’s a testament to our team."
The Bears played back to back games with a makeup at Little Rock Christian that was postponed after last Tuesday’s winter weather. Friday the Bears go to Jacksonville.
"They are down at the bottom with us," Davis said, "and they will be fighting for a home win."
The Bears will go to Little Rock Christian with a new floor general and a brand new spark.