• 79°

LADY EAGLES GRAB FIRST WIN, LOOK TO IMPROVE

After going 21-4 last season, the Lady Eagles hope to keep improving and make it back to the State Tournament this year.

Last Friday, the Lady Eagles caught their first “W” against Zion Chapel 41-23.

The Lady Eagles started out strong going up 8-2 in the first period.

To end the half, the Lady Eagles were up 27-14.

At the end of the third period, PHS kept increasing their lead 35-15 and ended the game 41-23.

Amy Gunter led the Lady Eagles scoring effort with 16 points and 14 rebounds.

Layla Watson came in second with 10 points and Hope Gunter came behind her with seven points.

“I think we played well in our first ball game,” Head coach Tony Wilson said. “We did a lot of different things defensively and everybody adapted well to that. I thought we played really well offensively, as well. We do have to shoot a little bit better because we missed a few shots that I thought we should have made and missed some free throws that we should have been making. Overall I was very pleased with the output.”

Wilson said this year he hopes that the girls will keep on doing as well as they have been doing.

“I feel like our girls have been pretty successful the past several years,” Wilson said. “Success is not always measured by championships because I try to make it more than that. I think with any sport, whether it’s a young man or a young lady, you want them to try and be the very best they can be, not just as an athlete, but as a person overall. I try to instill stuff like that into our young ladies and I think when they leave here, they leave here with a sense of pride knowing that they have been successful on the court and off of the court.”

Leading up to the game Friday night, Wilson said practices have been going well.

“We have been able to work on a lot of detailed things,” Wilson said. “Now we just have to work on some things that are commonplace within the game. With offense and defense itself, we have been working on technical stuff like out of bounds plays, press breaking and things of that nature that people try to throw at you. We have been trying to fine-tune that stuff more than we have been working on our offense and defense.”

The three seniors on the team are who Wilson expects to step up this season as leaders.

“I always look to them for leadership,” Wilson said. “But I also have a junior that is coming back that’s been a starter for the past couple of years, which is Amy Bulger. I’m really looking forward to some of our younger girls to step up and take active roles. Not necessarily leadership roles, but just playing roles. We’ve got three sophomores that got playing time Friday and one that is a starter for us. Amy Garner is who that is and she played a good bit Friday night and as a matter of fact, she led us in scoring and rebounds. I mean, it is great for a young person like that to come in and contribute like that. I would say, the biggest person that I look to is Hope Gunter. She is a senior that has probably been starting since probably eighth grade. I look to her as the person who, sort of, carries us with her background and experience.”

Wilson said he is looking forward to getting to the point where he wants the team to be.

“I want say getting better, but getting better at the overall game itself,” Wilson said. “By midseason, I want everything to be repetitious and for us to get there and fine-tune things to get us ready for playoffs at the end of the year. Hopefully, we will be able to make a push for Birmingham.

Last year, the Lady Eagles went on a 13 game winning streak before ending their year with a loss to Westminster School at Oak Mountain in the State Playoffs by three points 37-34.

They are set to take on W.S. Neal High School tonight at 6:30 p.m., in Pleasant Home.