Jason Bowen

Woodville varsity boys basketball head coach Bubba Smith tried to block out who his team was playing against and focus solely on his team’s performance.

After a back-and-forth first half that saw the Panthers trailing by one at intermission, they took command in the second half, holding their opponent to seven points over the final two quarters en route to a 30-point win.

Smith was pleased with Woodville’s strong performance. He just hated that it came at his son Blaine Smith’s Ider team’s expense.

“I didn’t get any enjoyment out of that,” Bubba Smith said. “I’m glad we played good, but there was no enjoyment.”

Watching his son’s basketball journey through the years has given Bubba Smith a lot of enjoyment. From coaching him in rec league, watching him be a standout in high school to seeing him coaching, the father has enjoyed it all. Basketball isn’t their only common interest, but it has been a big part of their bond.

“No matter where (the conversation) starts, it usually ends up at basketball,” Bubba Smith said. “He loves basketball. He’s always had a mind for it, always watched it from a coach’s point of view. He’s always drawing up things and bouncing ideas (off coaches). I’ll be in bed at night and get a text from him and he’s drawn up something (asking) ‘what do you think about this?’”

Now he’s excited to see his son try to revive an Ider varsity boys basketball program that has fallen on hard times.

The Smiths’ teams met again Thursday at Woodville. Bubba Smith’s Panthers prevailed again, but this time only by six points. After Thursday’s rematch, Blaine Smith said the Hornets are “starting to believe they can be competitive.”

Bubba Smith is a believer that his son will get things back on track at Ider.

“He’ll do a great job,” Bubba Smith said. “His dream has always been to be a varsity head coach. He’ll put in a lot of time into it. Ider got a really good coach.”

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