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After playing at Franklin County Tuesday, the Rockets will hit the road again tonight to face Woodford County and then come home tomorrow to play host to South Oldham.
SCHS head coach Mike Clark said he scheduled the tight set of games this week -- and next week when the team will again play three games in five days -- as a taste of the postseason.
"We want to give our kids a chance to see what the postseason could be like, especially our sophomores," he said. "In the district and region tournaments you could have to play back-to-back games and on short rest, so we want to see how the kids respond now. That way they'll know what it takes once we get down to the postseason."
Tonight the Rockets will play a 13-5 Woodford County team that has won four of their last five games, including a 57-47 win over Oldham County on Jan. 8.
"Woodford has traditionally been a tough place for us to play, and they're a good team with two or three good shooters and strong post play," Clark said. "They're definitely going to be a formidable opponent."
Clark said he doesn't expect the Rockets to have much, if any, of a hangover from the loss at Franklin County.
"I expect us to bounce back and play well," he said. "I'm sure we'll give the effort necessary, and I feel confident that we can come back and play well."
One key for the Rockets will be responding to playing on the road, something Clark said his team did not do Tuesday.
"With our young kids, it's especially important that we come out and play well in a tough road environment," he said. "We've played well at home and on a neutral court, but we just haven't played many road games. Hopefully the way we played Tuesday (at Franklin County) can help us be better prepared for Woodford County. With our quality senior leadership, I don't expect that to happen again."
The Rockets will be back in the friendly confines Saturday when a hot South Oldham team visits.
The Dragons are 12-6 on the year and have won six of their last seven, including an 85-64 win over Oldham County on Jan. 5.
However, the Rockets beat South Oldham 78-57 on Dec. 21 to win the Henry County Invitational tournament.
The key against South Oldham, Clark said, is defending the three.
"Anytime you play South Oldham you have to defend the three-point shot," Clark said. "They hit six the first time we played, and they're very capable of getting hot and hitting a lot more. They put five guys on the court that can all shoot from the perimeter."
The difference in the game the first time the Rockets and South met was Shelby's hot start.
The Rockets missed just one shot in the first quarter, putting up 32 points in a nearly perfect eight minutes. South Oldham hit four of their six threes in the first quarter, but the Rockets matched South, and actually hit more threes in the game.