Back to Birmingham: Trojans excited to head to Birmingham for third time in the last four years
Published 3:00 am Tuesday, February 28, 2017
The Charles Henderson Lady Trojans return to the Class 5A State Championships for the third time in four years on Wednesday.
Tipoff between the Lady Trojans and Arab is 6 p.m. at the BJCC Legacy Arena in Birmingham.
The Trojans made their way through the South Regional in Dothan defeating Faith Academy 62-45 and rival Eufaula 56-55.
“Things are going good,” said Trojans head coach Dyneshia Jones. “We are trying to take today (Monday) like a regular day and a regular practice. We are going over the basic things, like dribbling and passing.”
The Trojans will be face an unfamiliar opponent in Arab.
“We can work on some of the things that they do, but we have to make sure we do everything right on our end,” Jones said.
In Dothan, the Trojans’ offensive attacked featured strong effort from tournament MVP Maori Davenport inside as well as accurate shooting from behind the arc by both Niaira Jones and Whittaka Lowery.
Davenport led the way with 23 points in the win over the Rams, and Jones led the way against Eufaula with 23 points.
Lowery, a freshman, was an under-the-radar surprise.
“She has done a great job and she has stepped up tremendously,” Jones said. “She didn’t even play last year, so she is doing a great job and I am proud of her.”
The Trojans have used this opportunity to address weaknesses in their game.
“You can always keep improving,” Jones said. “We are not a perfect team, I wish there was a perfect team. There is always room for improvement. I don’t care if it’s a win, I tell them good job, but we have to improve.”
Two straight turnovers in the final minute against the Tigers nearly ended the Trojans season.
“It’s hard to work on turnovers when you are playing your own team,” Jones said. “We have been working on taking care of the basketball and making passes. We always reiterate that during practice.”
Jones believes the challenges the Trojans faced on Thursday will only help them in Birmingham.
“We have to fight throughout the game,” Jones said. “There are only four teams left in 5A in the state of Alabama; that is quite an accomplishment. We have to fight to stay there; if we lose we go home. We are going to continue to fight, fight, fight.”
The Trojans hope to compete for the state title.
“The majority of the team have been there,” Jones said. “We are excited about playing and making it to state. We have other goals, we have been there and we are used to the court. We need to stay humble and continue to win.”