TIGERS LOOKING TO THRIVE: Experience will be key for SHS girls’ basketball

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Straughn Lady Tigers return most of their starters from a year ago and look for strong season on the hardwood in 2017.

“Our goal is to play has hard as we can every game,” Lady Tigers’ head coach Scott Kinsaul said. “Maybe we can parlay that into an area championship and a trip to regionals. If everything falls in the right place, maybe even a trip to Birmingham.”

Kinsaul said that this year’s team will be more experienced than last year.

“We are so far ahead of where we were at this point last year,” Kinsaul said. “Last year we didn’t have one play returning that had any experience, and although our record didn’t reflect it, we really improved a lot during the season. The girls then improved during the summer and have looked good through the first six practices this year. We are light years ahead of where we were last year.”

One thing that Kinsaul has concerns with is the team’s ability to rebound.

“Rebounding is going to be a weakness,” Kinsaul said. “We only have one girl who is over 5’9”, and she is only a sophomore. That does concern me.”

While rebounding my be a concern, Kinsaul said the team has several bright spots that could be strengths.

“Our experience will be our biggest strength,” Kinsaul said. “The girls really have a better understanding of what we are trying to accomplish. I’m not sure how good the offense will be to start the season, but I know it will improve.”

Kinsaul said that the girls’ understanding of the gameplan has vastly improved from last year.

“This year, the girls know where to be on offense and defense,” Kinsaul said. “They know who to look for and where to go with the ball to score.”

This year, Kinsaul said that his four seniors have really taken the younger girls under their wings.

“My four seniors have done a great job encouraging the younger girls,” Kinsaul said. “This group really likes each other and what to see each other succeed. These four seniors have just gone about and beyond to help the younger girls learn what we are tying to do.”

Even with returning most of his starters from last year, Kinsaul said that the Lady Tigers are still up against tough competition in area play.

“The thing about this team, we may have returned a lot from last year, but so did the rest of our area,” Kinsaul said. “I know Geneva only graduated one from last year and I’m not sure that Opp or Slocomb graduated anyone from last year. Our area is still going to be tough to compete.”

The Lady Tigers begin the season tonight against Flomaton in Straughn.

The ninth grade game will begin at 4:30 with the varsity girls following.

Straughn will host its annual Thanksgiving tournament beginning on Nov. 20.