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Lady Pats look to pull off upset against Lee-Scott

Published 11:00pm Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Pike Liberal Arts Lady Patriots have a tall test in their first round playoff game against the second-ranked Lee-Scott Academy Lady Warriors, but Pike head coach Craig Kennedy thinks his team has a good shot of pulling off the upset.

The Lady Patriots advanced to the regional tournament by finishing third in their area with a 2-4 record in conference play. The Lady Patriots split their season series with Hooper Academy and Macon-East Academy and were swept by Evangel Christian Academy.

Kennedy has some history with Lee-Scott. He was the head coach of the Lady Warriors for a number of years before moving to Troy University and then Pike Liberal Arts. “Because I’ve played them before, and this isn’t the first time, there isn’t any emotional angst,” Kennedy said. “I’m happy for them. Coach Pruitt has done a great job with the program. They have a classy organization.”

Last time the Pike played Lee-Scott, things did not end well for the Lady Patriots. Pike lost by 11 at home. “The other team just scored more points,” Kennedy said. “Our depth can become an issue. We legitimately only have five varsity-aged players. The girls can’t get in to foul trouble. When we play on Friday, we have to play smart, not commit dumb fouls and manage the ball well.”

The Lady Pats have been preparing all year for the regional tournament, but, these past few days, the weather has kept them off the court. “We haven’t been able to practice,” Kennedy said. “But, before the snow came, we did a lot of work on free throws and a lot of work on layups.”

No matter what happens tonight, Kennedy said he likes the way his program is headed. “I think we’re moving the program in the right direction,” Kennedy said. “We’ve got kids who are committed to working hard. The kids understand that everything we do is based on our opponents. If your opponents are working hard—if they’re working harder than you—then you have to give more. Our girls know that they have to outwork their opponents.”

Kennedy said he has seen the evidence of that work payoff for the Lady Patriots late in the season. “Our last few games, we have played with composure,” Kennedy said, “That has been really good. I’m proud of that.”

The Lady Patriots and the Lady Warriors will tip at 5 p.m. Friday at Macon-East Academy in Cecil, Alabama.

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