Lady Trojans are the only
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 9, 2000
"sure thing" beyond Area
By STEVEN G. WATSON
The only local high school basketball team absolutely assured more than just one more game are the Charles Henderson High Lady Trojans.
Why you ask? Because they are the only regular season Area Champions, winning out over Stanhope ­ who they tied with during the regular season ­ through the AHSAA tie-breaking system. With the regular-season title, the Lady Trojans receive a bye in the first round of the three-team Area Tournament, which they also get to host, thus essentially giving them an automatic berth into the Sub-Regional. The only question now being whether they will host or travel.
CHHS girls’ head coach Dyneshia Jones feels good about her girls’ chances. With the chance to host the tournament she feels the Lady Trojans will definitely have the advantage.
"It’s just a matter of being used to your own gym," Jones said. "Some people think it doesn’t matter, but you just know your goal, you practice in there every day, you know what to hit and how to hit it and you know your floor. It’s just a feeling you have playing at home and in front of your home crowd."
As far as the competition the Lady Trojans are likely to face, Jones looks forward to whoever it might be, but feels that her girls would play harder against Stanhope who they lost to last time they met.
CHHS swept Wetumpka during the regular season, but Jones feels that the loss to SHS in their final Area game of the season hurt and might add a little spark to the Lady Trojans’ play.
"The last game at Stanhope we just didn’t play good," Jones said. "We didn’t play the ball game that I know they’re capable of playing.
"They’re not going to admit that they weren’t playing hard because they had already beaten the team, but I think they were taking them a little light," she added.
CHHS trounced the Lady Mustangs at CHHS gym back on Jan. 7, 49-33 in a game that looked as if Stanhope couldn’t buy a bucket. The tide turned, however, at Stanhope as only a week and a half later they blew out the Lady Trojans 60-45.
Jones just wants that to be a motivation for her team.
"When I played basketball I was more hyped to play teams that beat us the last time," she said. "The teams that we did beat I didn’t play as hard. Maybe that’s what they’re going through. Now that they lost to Stanhope the last time they’re ready and I feel that they will play much better. It will be totally different at home this time."
While the Lady Trojans don’t have the pressure on them as much as say some of the other area teams that must win their first Area Tournament game to assure them of a Sub-Regional berth, the importance of their game next Monday hasn’t escaped them.
Whoever they might matchup against beyond the Area Tournament, no team wants to play on the road. A loss could lead to a hard matchup away from home, but Jones feels the playoffs are something her team has been preparing for all year with their tough schedule.
"All through the season we’ve played 5A and 6A teams and didn’t always have a lot of luck with them, but that really prepared us," Jones said. "Having a losing record right now I’m not upset, because we’re playing bigger teams and it’s helping us. I’d rather have the record we have playing 5A or 6A schools than be 13-3 playing 2A and 3A teams that won’t really help us when you go into the Sub-Region and Region games."
As for coaching her team into the playoffs for only her second season, Jones says it’s just as nerve-racking being a coach as it is a player.
"Last year it was bad," Jones said. "I was nervous, but now, even though I played basketball, the coaching experience is different. I hated that last loss of the year. Last year was my first time experiencing it and the seniors that were there were so upset.
"It’s the end of the season and they know what’s at stake," Jones continued. "They just need to get out there and do it. There isn’t anything left so they have to give it all."