Lindsey Hornbuckle has led the Goshen Lady Eagles back to the No. 1 seed in the area. She has done this in her first year at the helm of the girls’ basketball team this year. Needless to say, Hornbuckle is excited about what her team has accomplished in the 2008-09 season.
“It is sweet and I feel like we have accomplished some things this year,” Hornbuckle said. “I am so excited that we are hosting the tournament as well. We have had our low spots and our high spots, but we have made it through and we want to continue to take it one game at a time.”
Hornbuckle said it is great to be able to host the tournament as the No. 1 seed, but she also knows about the trap that situation can become.
“As Pat Summitt always talks about, the regular season is important and it is like a practice round, but you can do good in the regular season and lose in the first game of the tournament and be done for the year,” Hornbuckle said.
And that is exactly what could happen to the Lady Eagles (6-8, 5-1 AHSAA Class 2A, Area 5) Thursday when they face Highland Home, a team they have defeated twice so far this year.
“Our girls deserved to host this tournament and now we will try and defend our home court Thursday,” Hornbuckle said. “I can only think of two times all year that we did not practice during the week. Our girls have been dedicated all year and they have really showed me they want this.”
Hornbuckle said the home loss to Pike County Saturday was a little deflating, her team down got back to work this week preparing for Highland Home.
“I know these girls are going to give it their all because of how they have been practicing so far this week,” she said. “These girls are out here because they want to be out here. I don’t make them come to practice and work hard, but they come anyways. And I love having girls that want to be out here and work hard to accomplish our goal.”
Playing a team three times in a season can sometimes prove to be challenging, but Hornbuckle said her team is ready for the challenge.
“I have firsthand experience with beating a team twice during the regular season and losing to that team in the area tournament,” Hornbuckle said. “When I was a senior at Guntersville we played North Jackson and beat them twice, but couldn’t get past them in the area tournament.”
She said that third time can be a trap, but the Lady Eagles have already had experience with taking the Lady Flying Squadron for granted. After taking Highland Home down by more than 20 points on the road, Goshen barely beat Highland in Goshen later this year.
“We have already run into the situation and our girls now know that it does not matter what happened in the other games,” Hornbuckle said. “And these girls are not going to give up. I am sure Highland Home wants this just as bad as us, but I am sure they don’t want it more. It is going to be a battle from buzzer to buzzer.”
The Lady Eagles and Highland Home are scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. tip off. Before the Goshen game Reeltown will square off with Zion Chapel at 5 p.m.