Lady Tigers face area with hopes to host tournament

Published 11:59 pm Friday, December 26, 2008

The Straughn Lady Tigers hope to rebound from the regular season into area play, with the ultimate goal of hosting the area tournament.

Straughn will do battle against Calhoun, Luverne and Central-Hayneville this year.

Straughn coach Scott Kinsaul said the area will be tough due to the caliber of players on the three teams.

“Calhoun lost four seniors last year, but they have one girl who can shoot the ball and they are very athletic,” Kinsaul said. “We don’t know much about Central-Hayneville. I know they lost their best player off of last year’s team. They were ranked at the beginning of the season.

“Luverne, I know they have a pretty tall girl. It’s just hard to say right now.”

Kinsaul said his team will pretty much stay the same going into area play with the occasional adjustment here and there.

“We might play a little more zone than we have in the past,” he said. “We’ve been working on that at practice and at the games. We’re still going to try to play an up tempo game and try to get as many easy shots as we possibly can.”

Kinsaul said winning home games in the area is essential to their strategy.

“We need to win our home games and hopefully we’ll steel a couple on the road to have a chance to host the area tournament,” Kinsaul said. “That’s our goal every year is to host the area tournament and win it. We’re just trying to get these last few games to hone our skills and be the best that we can be going into area play.”

Kinsaul said in order for his team to be successful this year, they have to do a good job matching other teams’ height.

“We’re not a very tall team and we have to do a good job of blocking out and rebounding,” he said. “Every team we play is going to be taller than we are. Calhoun has two girls that are over six feet tall and Hayneville has a couple of girls that are six feet tall. Luverne has one that is about six foot and my tallest girl is about 5-foot-7.

“So, we really have to worry about blocking out and shooting the ball,” he said. “We really have to get better shooting the basketball. We also have to be really sound on the defensive end and be very patient on our offense. If we do those things we’ll be successful.”