When it counts

Published 12:03 am Thursday, February 13, 2014

Straughn's Brentley Armstrong drives down the right side of the court Monday night. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Straughn’s Brentley Armstrong drives down the right side of the court Monday night. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Straughn girls host T.R. Miller tonight in sub-regional

While it was cold and wet outside Wednesday afternoon, Straughn was busy inside getting ready for tonight’s Class 3A South Sub-Regional against T.R. Miller.

The second-ranked Lady Tigers (25-1) enter the contest on a 23-game win streak and will face a young TRM team.

In spite of who they’ll be facing, SHS coach Scott Kinsaul said for his girls, “it’s the biggest game we’ll play all year.”

“It’s one and done from here on out,” Kinsaul said.

Kinsaul was speaking about the single elimination format that’s designated for basketball games from now until the end of the season.

Kinsaul said TRM (5-18) has a good point guard in Steely Ruzic, who is an eighth grader. Mekiah Williams, a sophomore, is the leading scorer.

“I know they’re real young,” he said. “They like to play zone. I know that (TRM) coach (Ronald) Jackson is a very good coach. He’ll have the ready to play.”

Getting off to a fast start in tonight’s game, which tip off is set for 6, would a “great,” Kinsaul said.

“It gives a lot of momentum to the crowd,” he said. “It gives us a lot of confidence. This group is so experienced, that even if we don’t get off to a fast start, they don’t panic.

“That’s what I like about them,” he said.

SHS found itself in a hairy situation Monday night during its 49-41 area championship win over Southside Selma.

Constantly throughout the contest, the Lady Panthers would attack the lane and kept staying within range of taking the lead.

SHS never let that happen, staying in the lead during the entire game.

A game like Monday does help the team down the road, Kinsaul said.

“Every time you win, you get more and more confident,” the coach said. “Southside’s improved more than last year, and even more than the last time we played them. They’re a good basketball team.

“Anytime you can beat a good basketball team and win, it gives you a lot of confidence,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of confidence going into (tonight.)”

Another part of Straughn’s win the other night came from its crowd support.

Kinsaul said it’s paramount that the crowd get up for tonight’s game.

“I just want to thank our crowd for the way they showed up for our area tournament,” he said. “We hope to see a big crowd here (tonight) and Friday night for the boys. Our players feed off of the crowd. It’s very important to us.”