- Alma School District
Airedales face Elkins Saturday at Lincoln 11/17/21
Airedales face Elkins Saturday at Lincoln
By Kevin Taylor
Alma coach Dominic Lincoln didn't get much resistance when it came to rebranding his basketball team.
Players have embraced the “We Are Family” mantra since day one.
The Airedales (1-0) face Elkins (2-0) on Saturday in the first round of the Turkey Shoot Basketball Tournament in Lincoln.
Alma's 57-44 win over Beebe last week included clutch bench play.
"We definitely want to have contributors," Lincoln said. "I think we had five kids hit a three, and everybody we played scored. The more people that score makes us a threat."
"Everyone that goes in needs to be able to contribute and help the team win," senior Daniel Howard said. "You can even contribute on the bench. When you're in Alma, that's what we want. We want everyone to contribute. You're part of the team; we're one family."
Fellow senior Bryson Mayes was among those who added to the Airedales' victory with a big 3-pointer.
"It feels good to get out there and be with your brothers, to know that you're making an impact on other peoples' lives," Mayes said. "It's nice to have a family; it's nice to feel the love."
Lincoln has put an emphasis on team unity. Players like Mayes, Howard, and Ben Bugaj, who rarely got on the floor last year, embraced Lincoln's message.
Bugaj scored six points in the Airedales' victory last week.
"That's been our main focus," Mayes said. "We're always together outside of school, too. We talk about other things, too, like fishing and just hanging out."
A win over Elkins would send the Airedales to the semifinals of the Lincoln Tournament on Monday against the winner of Saturday’s other opener between Shiloh Christian and host Lincoln.
The Alma girls open the tournament with a 10 a.m. game against Elkins.
Coach Codey Mann is hopeful the Lady Airedales will generate more offense against the Lady Elks.
"We definitely have to score better," Mann said. "I thought the effort and how hard we played was there, but we have to find a way to put the ball in the basket. Defensively, we're going to have to make some adjustments; I don't think we can fly around like that the whole game."
Alma dropped a 48-36 decision to Beebe last week. Saturday's game will be Elkins' third game this week and fourth this season.
The Lady Elks (0-2) lost to Prairie Grove on Tuesday to remain winless.
"We're going to look at some kids and give them an opportunity in these three games," Mann said. "We want to see them play in a varsity basketball game."