Lady Tigers prepare for Miller

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Straughn Lady Tigers picked up a huge last-second victory on Monday night to earn a spot in the South Regional basketball tournament in Dothan for the fifth year in a row.

“This is the fifth-straight year that we have made it to regionals,” Lady Tigers’ head coach Scott Kinsaul said. “Only two of the girls on this year’s team have any experience playing in this atmosphere. Lexi Hooks and Sydney Kinsaul played in this game last year, but it was just for a few minutes. It’s going to be a new experience for most of them.”

Kinsaul said he wants the team to just enjoy the experience.

“I’ve just told them to enjoy the moment and play hard,” Kinsaul said. “It’s a great environment that not a lot of people get to experience. If we just go out there enjoy the moment and play hard, at the end of the day we will be winners, no matter what the scoreboard might say.”

Straughn will take on T.R. Miller in the opening game of the Class 3A South Regional tournament, and it’s a team Kinsaul’s Lady Tigers are familiar with.

“We played them early in the season and they got us pretty good,” Kinsaul said. “At the time, we were still learning who we were and the type of team that we needed to be. We have a good game plan for them and now the question is if we can just go out there and execute.”

The Lady Tigers pulled off a comeback victory in the sub-regional round to cap off a late season push that landed Straughn back in the South Regional tournament.

“I’m just so proud of these girls,” Kinsaul said. “We played a really tough schedule and they could have just hung their heads. They didn’t do that. Instead, they never gave up and showed up at practice every day with the intent of getting better. That hard work really paid off on Monday night when we beat a team that we probably wouldn’t have beat earlier in the season.”