PLAS girls hoops playing for now, building for future

Published 9:29 am Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pike Liberal Arts girls basketball coach Craig Kennedy knows you have to build a program from the ground up.

He’s done it before, and is trying to do it again.

Kennedy helped build Lee-Scott Academy in to a girls basketball powerhouse in AISA a few decades ago, and is now dead-set on getting the job done for the Lady Pats.

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Kennedy serves as both the varsity girls, and junior varsity girls head coach and sees promise with the future of the teams.

The JV girls competed in the AISA State Tournament over the weekend, and knocked off Ft. Dale in their opening game.

Kennedy liked what he saw from his players.

“I think we out-thought them (Ft.Dale),” Kennedy said. “The younger girls are learning more and more every time they step on the floor, and they play so hard all the time. We can teach them how to shoot and dribble, but that hustle comes naturally. As a coach, I love to see it.”

Three of the JV players, Mya Terry, Lauren Johnson and Suzie Stell, not only dress with the varsity, but also contribute minutes as well.

Kennedy feels having the three players on the roster helps two folds.

“They are just extra bodies out there,” Kennedy said. “They are able to spell out starters and also they know the system, so they can jump right in and keep the flow going. We are able to get players in and out to keep everyone fresh.”

Pike travels to Evangel Christian on Friday to battle the highly ranked Lady Lions. The Lady Pats lost earlier season to Evangel 58-50 in a game that Kennedy thinks Pike should’ve won.

“We need to utilize our posts better this go around,” Kennedy said. “If we do that, and not turn the ball over, I think we will be OK. Our girls are gritty and wont quit until the final horn goes off. It would be huge for our four seniors to go out with a big win over a very good basketball team.”