OHS girls ready for regionalsPublished 12:01am Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Opp girls’ coach SaRhonda Dickerson waits under the basket with a tackling dummy in hand.
A player approaches for a layup and Dickerson boxes the player out from making the shot, sometimes forcing her to work to put the ball in the hole.
This is nothing new for the Lady Bobcats as they are busy preparing to play Daleville in the semifinals of the Class 3A South Regional Tournament in Dothan this week. Tip off for the game is slated for 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Dothan Civic Center.
Right now, Dickerson said she’s making sure the girls are staying focused on the task at hand.
“As always, we make sure our defense creates our offense,” she said. “That’s going to be our main focus this week. We’re really working on our defense.”
Daleville (15-11) won seven of its last nine games of the regular season to finish strong. The Lady Warhawks started slowly, going 1-5 from the beginning of the year, but bounced back to have the most wins since tallying 18 in 2003.
Daleville’s leading scorers are Tia Fils-aime, a sophomore forward, who averages 12.6 points, 12.2 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game. Teammate Chyana Blanks, a junior point guard, averages 6.2 points, 4.5 assists and 3.2 steals per game.
This will be Daleville’s first appearance at the regional tournament since 2003.
However, the Lady Bobcats, with their fast transition game and stout defense, will make their second straight appearance at the south regional.
Last year, OHS fell 64-35 to Mary Montgomery in the semifinals of the south regional in Mobile.
Dickerson said the team knows what it’s like to play at this time during the post season.
“A lot of it was due to to the fact that the girls were so fast,” Dickerson said about the loss to Mary Montgomery. “They were so fast; they beat them up and down the floor.
“All season, since the summer, we’ve been working on speed and that’s due to a lot of defense we play on,” she said. “We’re just making sure the girls are in shape running up and down the floor.”
In order to stay focused on Thursday, Dickerson said she has employed the use of yoga and even wrote her girls a letter filled with uplifting advice.
The yoga training has been in the works for some weeks now, the coach said.
If Opp (20-4) can get past Daleville in the first round, it could possibly meet up against Straugh in the regional finals. SHS plays Abbeville at 3 p.m. tomorrow.
When asked if she ever thought that this match up could happen, Dickerson said the team would love to play Straughn again.
“I wish Abbeville and Straughn the best, but I’m pulling for Straughn to win,” she said. “I want to meet up with them again.”
Dickerson said the girls are really excited about the opportunity to play in the regional tournament.
“Our main goal is to be playing March 2 at 9 (a.m.),” she said. “They’re focused on this one game for Thursday right now. They know it’s the next step. They know we have to win two to get to Birmingham, but to take it all, we have to win four more games.”