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An even more determined Lady Bulldog squad awaits their next opponent, and for the third year in a row, New Albany travels to Jackson in quest of a state title. After the letdown in 2010, it is all business for head coach John Stroud and his top-ranked squad.
“We’re really determined this year, and with eight seniors, this is their last go-around, so they’re even more focused,” he said. “We’ve had good practices this week, and we’re ready to play.”
The week-long break is much needed for the Lady ‘Dawgs as they battled in back-to-back contests against Lafayette and Pontotoc. Looking at the number two seed from the south, Stroud said they are not worried about any one team, but just playing their game.
“It’s all business for us,” he said. “It’s not about playing South Jones or any other team, it’s about us playing our game and doing that with no problems. We focus on ourselves and concentrate on shooting, rebounding and playing defense, we’ll be alright.”
The Lady Braves of South Jones enter the Monday afternoon contest at 28-3 after falling to Lawrence County in the South Half Championship last week, and they are led by junior Keoshya Wilson, who averages 17.1 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. The Lady Braves average 56.8 points per game while their opponents have averaged 41. South Jones started the year at 22-0, including a win over Tupelo, before they lost their first game at the end of January. Stroud feels the tough games against Lafayette and Pontotoc make his team stronger for the state tournament.
“Playing those two teams back-to-back was difficult,” he said. “The break has been well needed, and after this, we’ll go down there and see how they are and see how good we are.”
The Lady ‘Dawgs and Lady Braves are set for a 1 p.m. tipoff in the semifinals on Monday.