SKY IS THE LIMIT FOR FLORALA: Lady Wildcats turning heads with strong start

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Florala Lady Wildcats are on a mission and they have surprised many teams after a strong start to the 2018-19 high school basketball season.

“I’ve been really proud of the progress this girls have shown over the past year,” Florala head coach David Bass said. “We have come a long way. We still have things we have to work on, but these girls have really made tremendous strides. They are hungry to win.”

At the halfway point in the year, the Lady Wildcats are sporting at 14-4 record.

That’s the best start to a season that the Lady Wildcats have had in nearly a decade.

The Alabama Sports Writers Association has taken notice and voted the Lady Wildcat in the top 10 in every poll this season.

Currently, the Lady Wildcats sit at No. 6.

The Lady Wildcats have a core of juniors leading the way with Meredith and Makayla Parker, Jerilyn Kemp and Laken Hadley.

Over the weekend, Hadley had a strong tournament and even hit a game-winning 3-pointer against Georgiana.

“Man she is awesome,” Bass said of Hadley. “This is the second time she has hit a game winner for us. She is the person that wants to step up to the plate when we need her the most. She shoots the ball really well and she is really developing some confidence. She is an asset to our team, but most importantly she is the leader and the role model on the team right now.”

Sophomore Ranisha Wright and freshman Sharae Coleman have also been bright spots for the Lady Wildcats.

The offense has produced strong games, but Bass said it has been the defense that he has been most impressed with.

“We are really stepping it up defensively,” Bass said. “I preached to the girls the importance of being multiple on defense. At the start of the year, we were really just running one defense and I told them that we didn’t want to become one dimensional. We are doing good at becoming versatile and throwing different looks at people. So nobody can pick it up and we are not a prediticable basketball team. That was our goal going into the second half of the season with area play coming up. We want to be one of those teams that can be versatile and throw in different looks.”

Bass said the biggest thing that needs to change is keeping his players out of foul trouble.

“We have got to stop fouling,” Bass said. “We are in a really tough area with Brantley, Kinston and Elba. I think we are doing real well executing and defending, but where we are struggling is we are sending people to the line 20 and 30 times a game. If we can cut back on our fouls, I think that can be the biggest improvement for us for the second half of our season.”

To have a chance at winning the area, Bass said the Lady Wildcats need to continue to play strong defense.

“Just keep playing solid defense,” Bass said when asked what the key to winning the area would be. “We know if we can stop them from scoring than they can’t win.”

The Lady Wildcats will be back in action on Jan. 4 when they travel to Kinston to take on the Lady Bulldogs.