Seniors carry on Lady Tigers’ tradition

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 25, 2016

For the eight straight season, the Straughn Lady Tigers’ (20-12) basketball team picked up 20 or more wins in season and made their fourth straight appearance in the South Regional.

“I’m just really proud of all the girls,” Lady Tiger head coach Scott Kinsaul said. “In all my years of coaching, I don’t know that I’ve ever had that improved as much during the season as this team did.”

One thing that makes the streak all the more impressive was that most of the starting five held mainly bench roles in previous seasons, before stepping up as seniors to carry on the Straughn tradition.

“Our slogan at the beginning of the year was ‘Next Lady Up,’” Kinsaul said. “I really challenged the girls to extend the tradition and they accepted the challenge. They didn’t want to let the past teams down, and these girls deserve all the credit.”

Kinsaul said that his seven seniors, Harley and Carley Adcock, Brentley Armstrong, Sarah Kate Shiver, Lexi Cottle, Baylee Wilson and Dee Gantt each stepped up in tremendous was to help lead the Lady Tigers.

After an ACL injury cost her the second half of her senior season, Gantt found a way to continue to be a leader for the Lady Tigers.

After an ACL injury cost her the second half of her senior season, Gantt found a way to continue to be a leader for the Lady Tigers.

“When Dee went down with her ACL injury, she could have held her head down and asked, ‘why me?,” Kinsaul said. “She didn’t do that. She become even more of a leader from the bench.”

Armstrong was one of the players that had to step up after Gantt went down.

“We Dee went out we had to play Brentley at the post more than I had planned to, but she handled it very well and she continued to improve as the season went along.”
Kinsaul said Shiver was one of the most improved players during her career.

“From the time Sarah Kate was in seventh grade to the time she was a senior, I don’t think any player improved as much as she did.”

After an injury suffered in volleyball kept her out of most of the basketball season, Cottle stepped up when she got healthy.

“When we got Lexi back from the volleyball injury, she really stepped up and was huge spark off the bench for us.”

Kinsaul said that Harley Adcock did a great job running the point and improved through the year.

Wilson also showed improvement shooting the ball over the course of the season, Kinsaul said.

As for Carley Adcock, Kinsaul said showed patience while waiting for her turn.

“As a ninth grader, Carley didn’t make the team,” Kinsaul said. “She could have given it up, but she kept pushing forward and her she was starting in her senior year.”

Kinsaul said the girls quickly learned that there was a difference between being a back-up player and being a starter.

“It was something they had to adjust to,” Kinsaul said. “At first, they weren’t getting the job done. After getting beat by Pleasant Home, I called the seniors in for a meeting and told them they weren’t getting it done. They accepted the challenge I gave them to improve and from that point on they really took on the leadership roles they needed to improve. At first it was like we would take two steps forward and one step back, but at the end of the year we weren’t taking any steps back.”

Kinsaul said that it didn’t take long after the challenge to see the change in the players.

“They really just accepted the challenge to improve and after they did that you could see a difference,” Kinsaul said. “I challenged them, they stepped up and they deserve all the credit. They not only grew as a team, but they also grew as young ladies.”