Lady Eagles travel to begin area tournament

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Goshen Lady Eagles enter the Class 2A Area Tournament with an eye on advancing to another super-regional tournament.

The Eagles finished the regular season with a 5-1 area record. Now with the regular season at a close, coach Fred Lowery’s squad is ready to begin phase two.

The Eagles will open up the tournament with first-round showdown against Calhoun, a team which Goshen defeated both times the two teams met.

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“We are very excited,” Lowery said. “Its unfortunate that we have to go to Central, but we are excited about it and we like our chances to be able to move to the next round.”

The Eagles had home court advantage in their sites all the way up to the regular season finale. The Eagles dropped their final area game to Central 76-60 causing a tie at the top of the area standings,. The tie forced a coin flip to determine who will host the tournament.

The Eagles lost the flip, but they will use this as an opportunity as motivation to show the other teams what they can do on the road.

“We went up there and we just didn’t play well,” Lowery said. “We couldn’t find the basket and they couldn’t miss anything. This is an opportunity for my girls. Knowing that we didn’t play well in their place is motivation for the girls. This is an opportunity for us to redeem ourselves and to show them that we are the better team.”

Since Lowery took over before last season, his philosophy has been to force havoc on defense and get easy points in transition. This season, the Eagles have done just that and are looking forward to continuing that success this week.

“We are going to continue what we have done all year long,” Lowery said. “We want to focus on rebounding and limiting our turnovers. We want to be the ones that are causing turnovers.”

Limiting turnovers is always a point of emphasis for a Lowery-led basketball team and it will be a major point of emphasis this evening against Calhoun.

“We are not communicating and I stress that everyday at practice,” Lowery said. “We are getting in a hurry and allowing other teams to do to us what we want to do with them. Communication is the reason why we have had trouble with turnovers and we have been working on it over the last few days.”

Led by Shamiya and Bree Griffin, the Eagles have a young core that have the experience of making a deep run in the postseason after making it to the regionals last season. They hope to build on that experience starting this evening.

“That was our first time making it in a few years,” Lowery said. “One of our main goals was getting back to regionals. Having that experience and playing in front of that crowd is a plus. We are relying heavily on our experience.”

Along with Bree and Shamiya Griffin, the Eagles are hoping to continue to get quality production out of playmakers Jada Hall and Cheyenne Tillery.

“Jada Hall shoots the ball well. Jada and Cheyenne are capable of giving us 10 to 12 points,” Lowery said. “If Jada and Cheyenne step up, I think we will be ok.”

The Eagles and Tigers will begin at 6 p.m. with a ticket to the sub-regionals on the line.

“I have been telling them the last few days we just have to win tomorrow,” Lowery said. “It’s win or go home and we have faced them before and we know what they do.