Patriots leaning on fundamentals heading into area
Published 3:00 am Friday, December 25, 2015
The Pike Liberal Arts Lady Patriots aren’t the biggest team but their timely shooting and well-played fundamentals have given them a 7-4 record heading.
“If you look at the grand scheme we have lost four games,” said Patriots head coach Robert Hawkins. “One of those was to the top team in the state of Georgia and the other was to the top team in Alabama. If anything we need to learn how to finish games.”
In their other two losses against Macon East and Lee Scott, the Patriots held sizable leads and let the game slip away from them late in the contest.
“I am positive in thinking that the two games that were important we had a nine point lead and lost it,” Hawkins said. “That is something that we can hopefully learn from and get better at.”
Regine Parker is the only senior starter for the Patriots, and Hawkins said the juniors and sophomores are expected to step us as well.
“The other four girls started last year,” Hawkins said. “I would like to see a little more contribution from the players that started last year for us.”
Junior Lauren Johnson has done just that. “She averaged 21 points for us last year as a sophomore and she is probably averaging more than 20 points now,” Hawkins said. “She is trying to figure out her game. She can play inside and she can play outside. She is a really good player. She is the best player in AISA.”
Players like Susie Stell have also stepped up.
“In the last three to four games Susie has given us double-figures,” Hawkins said. “She hasn’t turned the ball over. She is smart and has a super attitude, which goes miles.”
As the Patriots move on into area play they will continue to work on closing out games. “Against pretty good teams we have played them pretty good during three quarters” Hawkins said. “For whatever reason we have given away some pretty good leads of nine or 10 points. We have done some things to address that.”
Hawkins believes the area title will come down to either PLAS or Fort Dale.
“From what I have seen Fort Dale has been playing .500 ball,” Hawkins said. “They have a super coach and they will get better and better as the season goes along. They will be there.”
The Bulldogs will kick off area play starting on January 5 when the make the trip to Greenville to take on Fort Dale Academy.