South Side's Quaylon Fuller finding shot at just the right time of the year
When senior guard Quaylon Fuller hit a scoring rut a while back, South Side coach DaMonn Fuller challenged him to a shooting contest during practice.
DaMonn Fuller won the shooting contest, but Quaylon Fuller found his shot.
The shooting touch helped when he hit five 3-pointers in the Class AA sectional win over Mitchell. Now both Fullers hope that momentum continues this week at the state tournament.
"This is his senior (year), and he understands what it takes as a player to wait his turn," DaMonn Fuller said. "He is now taking advantage of his turn. A lot coaches wish they had a shooter like Quaylon."
South Side opens play in the Class AA state tournament on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. against Fulton at Middle Tennessee State University.
DaMonn and Quaylon Fuller have the same last name, but they are not related. Coach Fuller likes to joke that he let's Quaylon keep his last name when he is shooting well.
"I have to keep doing what he tells me to do," Quaylon said. "I have to lean forward and take my shot.
"We have to follow the game plan and do what the coaches say on Thursday, and we will be OK."
So what is the key to the game plan?
"Rebounding, that is the most crucial part, getting offensive rebounds," Quaylon said.
Quaylon has been key for the Hawks all postseason as they went on a run from being the No. 4 seed in the District 14-AA tournament to being one of the top eight teams in Class AA.
"The goal is always to win district and region, and now our goal is to win state," Quaylon said. "When we came into the postseason, our goal was still to win everything."
Fuller and fellow seniors like Bryce McBride have figured out how to take their game to the next level the past couple weeks.
"Him and Travelle Turner and Josh Anderson have picked up the slack when teams have tried to shut down Bryce," DaMonn said. "This team that we have is a collective effort. The kids are stepping up for one another."
This South Side team is not led by superstars like the Hawk teams that have reached the state tournament over the past decade. This is more of a team effort.
"We have been doing what the coaches have been telling us," Quaylon said. "Early in the year, we were playing as individuals, but ever since district tournament started, we have been playing like a team."
Reach Michael Odom at firstname.lastname@example.org or 731-425-9754. Follow him on Twitter @JSWriterMichael.