Rams Preparing for Trip to Lakeland

Springfield, FL.----The Spiva Ram House is still a busy place this week, in terms of basketball. That's where the Rutherford Rams are working towards their trip to Lakeland and the 5A state finals.

The Rams will face American Heritage in a Friday morning game in Lakeland, in what will be the second trip to finals under coach Rhondie Ross. The first coming in 2010.

So none of these players a part of that team, and it's a new experience for them.

That includes, after winning three playoff games at home, playing in a big venue like the Lakeland Center, something that might take some getting used to, and head coach Rhondie Ross is keenly aware of that.

"I'm trying not to harp on it a whole bunch because the last time we went down there I thought that was one of the problems we had early on, coming out of the gate a little nervous. So we're not talking about that as much, we're just talking about going down there and trying to win a state championship."

Senior Keith Arts says they're trying not to over think the whole notion of playing in a big venue down there.

"Just go down there and hoop. And do the little things. Take charges. We're just gonna basically play like we've been playing, that's all we need."

Khaliel Spearman says their coach is pointing them in the right direction in these practices leading up to the trip.

"He told us that when we get on that stage, just play like any other basketball game. We've just got to treat it as any other tournament that we're just playing against some teams that have different styles of play. And we just have to see which style is wins."

The Rams carry a 26-2 record south with them, Heritage out of Plantation, in Broward County is 23-7. Rutherford playing for that first ever boy's hoops state title. They'll leave Thursday, the game Friday set for 10 a.m. eastern.