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Lady Tigers building on lessons learned
The Lady Tigers stretch during warm-up and practice in preparation for a tough schedule that starts today. January is jam-packed with up to three games per week for the Lady Tigers and other high school basketball programs. They face the Lady Knights of Windsor Forest tonight at Windsor. Tip off is 6:30 p.m. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon
The Lady Tigers return from the Peach State Holiday Classic in Atlanta with a 1-2 record and a new respect for the tough road ahead in their basketball schedule.
During their competition in Atlanta, the Lady Tigers faced Westlake — ranked 16th in the state — and Douglass High School of Atlanta.
Both of these teams are considered high caliber teams by Lady Tiger head coach Faye Baker and both handed the Lady Tigers two difficult losses. Their one victory was over Erwin High School of Birmingham, Ala.
The Lady Tigers were scheduled to play Westlake again for game three but a change in their schedule placed them against Douglass High.
“We lost that game 61-50, although we played well the first half,” Baker said. “But then in the second half, they were able to extend the lead on us and we played from behind from that point on. I think Douglas was a pretty solid team but I think we did have a chance to compete and win that game. We did not do some things we needed to do in the third quarter and they took the lead and we were never able to catch them at that point.”
Overall, coach Baker said it was a great experience for the Lady Tigers who were able to participate and a valuable learning tool for her as a coach.
“It was a good experience for the girls,” she said. “It did expose our weaknesses and showed us what we need to work on in order to be effective as we enter the main part of our season, which is this month. It was real important for us to go there and see that. There was no pressure. They were non-region games and it gave us the chance to see the caliber of teams that we may face if we make it into post-season play.”
The main stretch for the basketball program is, for the next three weeks, the Lady Tigers will face tough regional opponents and have to be physically ready for three games a week. Two games are back-to-back on Fridays and Saturdays.
The first opponent in the Lady Tigers’ path to the playoffs is Windsor Forest tonight at 6:30. Their travel to and play on the Lady Knights’ court adds to the difficulty.
“Windsor Forest has stepped up their program,” Baker said. “They’ve been competitive in the past. As a matter of fact, last year on their court, we lost to them. It’s harder to go into someone else’s gym because they take a lot of pride in protecting their home turf. It’s more reason to be ready and it’s an important game because it’s a regional game. Hopefully everything we learned in Atlanta and the things we worked on during practice the last two days will get us ready for them."
Baker and the Lady Tigers must face Glynn Academy tomorrow night at 5. Although it is not a regional game, it will be a test to see how the Lady Tigers handle back-to-back games, The last time they faced Glynn was after a game the previous night and the Lady Tigers came out sluggish and lost.
“It’s probably one of the most disappointing losses we had this year,” Baker said.
“I definitely felt like we played very flat. Again it’s going to be a situation where we are playing back to back. Hopefully, we will not come out flat and be able to execute better than we have in the past,” Baker noted.
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