Lady Wildcats searching for playoff formula as season comes to close

Published 2:59 pm Monday, February 5, 2007

As district tournament time nears, the Wilkinson County Lady Wildcats have turned the corner and are starting to gel as a team, according to Lady Wildcat head coach Edwin White.

Currently, the Lady Wildcats are in a two-way tie with Tylertown for third place in their district, but White said he expects his team to be the sole occupants of third place by the end of the regular season.

“We are starting to play at the right time,” White said.

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“Our success rests on the shoulders of Ashley Dennis, Latony Anthony and Ebonee Anthony.”

Besides sharing the burden of success, all three girls are also cousins.

The Lady Wildcats are not new to the postseason.

They have made it to South State for four straight years, and White intends to make it a five.

“This is a team that nobody expected to win 10 games,” White said.

But the Lady Wildcats are 13-14 overall, 5-6 in district, and have their sights set on another run at the playoffs.

Future looking good for Franklin County

With two games left in the regular season, the Franklin County Bulldogs are 6-16 overall, 6-5 in district and are third place in their district.

The Bulldogs have endured having to wait to play in their gym that was recently renovated, and also had to wait on several key players to finish up with football at the start of the basketball season.

“We are a young team as far as experience goes, and we didn’t get into our gym until mid-November,” Bulldog head coach Chris Jordan said.

Jordan said his team is on the right track. At the start of the season, Franklin County was averaging 28 points per game. Now the Bulldogs are averaging 60 as the regular season comes to a close.

“This is one of the toughest teams I have ever coached,” he said.

And despite the strong competition that awaits in the Bulldogs in the district tournament, Jordan said his team is confident about their prospects in the post season.

“They (the players) see the improvements,” Jordan said. “They believe we can win more games.”

Lady Bulldogs prepare for District Tournament

The Franklin County Bulldogs have the number two spot in their district locked up with a 9-2 district record and an overall record of 17-5.

Lady Bulldog head coach Charles Moore said he is pleasantly surprised with his team’s record this late in the season.

“We lost a lot of experience last year, and only had one returning starter,” he said.

He attributes his team’s success this season to senior leadership and an increase in size in the post positions.

With second place locked up, the Lady Bulldogs are slated to play North Pike in their first district tournament game.

The Lady Bulldogs have beaten North Pike twice already this season, and Moore knows beating them a third time will be no easy feat.

“That’s going to be dangerous, especially playing at their place. Beating them twice was hard, but beating them a third time is going to be much more difficult.”

But Moore said his team is making preparations. He said his team has watched more film and have made some defensive adjustments.

“This has been a pretty even district race. From here there are no easy games or easy teams,” Moore said.

Huntington benefiting from tough schedule

After going 25-1 last season, the Huntington Hounds increased their strength of schedule in hopes to make their already successful team better.

“When we toughened our schedule, we knew we would take some losses, but we also knew it would help us in the long run,” Hound head coach David Boydstun.

As a result of the schedule changes, Boydstun said his players have stepped up to meet the challenge.

While the Hounds are still waiting to see who they will play in the district tournament, the Hounds are not making any changes to what they have been doing.

“We have had good, hard practices everyday, which is what we have done all year. We just have to continue to work hard at improving,” Boydstun said.

He added that his team has an added advantage because the Hounds are familiar with the teams that will be competing in the district tournament.