Lady Tigers exceed expectations

Published 12:05 am Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Straughn Lady Tigers’ basketball team exceeded expectations this season with a mid-season surge that earned the Lady Tigers a spot in the Class 3A South Regional tournament in Dothan.

“This team improved tremendously throughout the season,” Lady Tigers’ head coach Scott Kinsaul said. “They came in every day prepared to improve.”

Just looking at the Lady Tigers’ overall record for the season (9-21), doesn’t tell the whole story of the team.

“Coming into the first game of the season, we had five girls starting that had never started a varsity basketball game,” Kinsaul said. “We didn’t have any experienced players and we started with a very tough schedule.”

Over the early weeks of the season, Kinsaul said the team took some lumps, but never lost hope.

“We got beat pretty good by a few teams that were better than us early in the year,” Kinsaul said. “I told them after that start that if we make it to regionals everyone will forget about that start. Once we got into area play, we picked up the pace a bit.”

Once the Lady Tigers entered area play, things started clicking, Kinsaul said.

“In area play, the girls started gaining some confidence and got comfortable in what we were doing,” Kinsaul said. “That just comes from the experience they gained early in the season.”

That improvement in area play helped the Lady Tigers earn the team’s sixth straight trip to the South Regional tournament, where Straughn fell to T.R. Miller.

“The first time we played T.R. Miller, they beat 41-8 and in at regionals we lost 41-28. We had a 20-point improvement and held them to same.”

Kinsaul said that regardless of how the season went the girls have nothing to hang their heads about.

“This group wants to improve and they come in every day to practice and prove that,” Kinsaul said. “We were a young team this year, and these girls are going to continue to improve.”