PCHS girls try not to be
Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 10, 2000
left out in tough Area 3 race
By STEVEN G. WATSON
When looking at the girls Class 4A Area 3 basketball tournament, it’s easy to see that there will be at least one sad story to write before the final buzzer has sounded.
The Pike County Lady Bulldogs will try and avoid being the topic of that sad tale Friday as they face off against the Daleville Lady Warhawks in a 6 p.m. tipoff.
They are the No. 2 seed while Daleville – who Pike County beat twice during the regular season – nabbed the No. 3 seed. Geneva, who handed the Lady Bulldogs two of only three losses on the season and split with Daleville, won the regular-season title and the No. 1 seed. That put them in a first-round game with Dale County who all three teams swept throughout Area play.
Now that the scene has been set, it’s important to note the talent that will come to play at Geneva from these three teams. As any of the coaches will tell you, there aren’t very many Area races as closely contested as this one.
"Daleville, Geneva and Pike County, that’s three teams that can win and three teams that are capable of beating each other any night they take the floor," PCHS girl’s coach Leroy Bryant said. "We were talking about it this week with the other coaches and it’s really a shame. It’s so even and all three teams have so much talent, but that’s the way it goes when the runner up and the winner are the only ones to advance to the state playoffs. Whoever it’s going to be to get knocked out, and I hope it’s not us, I feel for them because they are very capable of winning it all."
The first step for the Lady Bulldogs will be Daleville. If they can get past the Lady Warhawks for a third time this season an appearance in the championship game will assure them a berth in a Sub-Regional, win or lose.
PCHS did defeat Daleville twice, but it took a shot by center Andrea Bailey with only seconds to play to do it the first time at Daleville and another thriller in overtime on the Lady Bulldogs home court.
Now they must mirror those two wins or the season is over. Bryant knows how hard it is to beat a team twice, much less three times.
"It’s hard to beat a team three times in the same season," the coach said. "Our girls are ready and know what’s on the line. If you lose that first Area Tournament game then you’re done. I’ve got four seniors that aren’t ready to call it a season yet.
"When we meet Daleville we know they’re going to be ready, there’s no doubt about it," Bryant continued. "They’ve got a height advantage on us, but if we play our game like I know we can and get position and rebound we’ll be alright."
The winner of the Pike County Daleville game will have to turn around and more than likely – barring some miracle upset by Dale County – play another tough game against Geneva on their home court.
Bryant doesn’t want to look ahead to the game, but feels if his girls do make it past Daleville, the Lady Bulldogs might have an edge.
"If we win the Daleville game we’ll have the momentum going into the Championship game I feel," Bryant said. "Geneva has it pretty easy in the first round and might come in relaxed. Either one of the teams are capable of beating them on their home floor and I just hope it’s us who gets the chance."