Tuesday, the Lady Tigers went undefeated in the Winterboro play date with wins over Sylacauga, Winterboro and Central Coosa. The play date also helped Johnson’s younger players gain experience.
“It was good to get the young players some experience for next year,” Johnson said. “We had a good game against Sylacauga today. We are just trying to improve from last year. We are doing some new things.”
The Lady Tigers came from behind to defeat the Lady Aggies of Sylacauga 39-38 in a thriller. Childersburg defeated Winterboro 39-21 and Central Coosa 27-7.
Johnson’s style was displayed in the second half of against Winterboro. The Lady Tigers’ defense turned into offense and, when forced to run a set offense, his team put emphasis on pounding the ball into the post.
“We are going to put some things in defensive-wise and offensive-wise,” Johnson said. “I am going to put my personality into the team. We are going to run the floor; we are going to play defense. If you want to win, you have to play defense. We have to get them buying into playing man defense. That is the key thing. I think you win a state championship if you play man defense and a lot of help defense.”
Johnson went 4-1 after being named the interim head coach. Childersburg fell to the eventual state champion last year in the Class 4A Sub-Regional tournament.
He believes his team has the potential to compete for a state championship.
“We were a couple plays away last year,” Johnson said. “This year, I think we are going to have what it takes to get it done. We move into a new area next year. We are in there with Holtville, Dallas County and Tallassee. I believe we can make a run. They have to buy into what I do; that is the key right now. That is why I am glad that we played so they can buy into what I do, but we are going to be fine.”
The Sylacauga Lady Aggies also had a strong showing at the play date.
The Lady Aggies went 2-1, bringing their summer record 6-1. Sylacauga’s only loss of the summer came to Childersburg Tuesday.
Sylacauga won their other two games with ease against Central Coosa and Winterboro.
“We had a play date last week where we went 4-0,” Sylacauga assistant coach Brad Aman said. “Today, we went 2-1. We lost to Childersburg by one. It is good to play really good competition.”
Sylacauga defeated Central Coosa 36-18 and Winterboro 41-18. In both games, the Lady Aggies younger players got to significant playing time, which may prove to be beneficial for them when the season starts in November.
“I am excited about the good competition,” Aman said. “ We got some young girls that got some good time on the court today. The summer is all about getting better. We preach to them fundamentals and getting better.”
The host team, the Winterboro Lady Bulldogs only went 1-2 with their standout player Jasmine Richardson. The Lady Bulldogs showed they could compete with two of the up-and-coming programs in the state Tuesday.
“I really thought we did some good things,” Winterboro head coach Sheroderick Smith said. “I think we competed with Childersburg for a half. In the grand scheme of things, when you are trying to be a better program and competing against Childersburg and Sylacauga, you are trying to see if you can compete. Everyone wants to win the game, but if you can compete you are going in the right direction. The first half against Childersburg really opened my eyes to some things. I was very thankful about it. I am always thankful about play dates. I was able to get some bench players in; they need a lot of work so this is the time and the day to do it.”
With Richardson not being in the lineup, rising freshman Anslea Twymon took over scoring for Winterboro, which is something Smith was pleased to see.
“Anslea Twymon is becoming more aggressive on the offensive end,” Smith said. “I am trying to get her to have that confidence, because she is going to be a player one day. My young girls went through a little stage fright today, but once again I value all of that. I am just glad that these girls are playing for me. We’ve had a good summer. The girls were busting their butts in the weight room. I think collectively out of this group of girls. We only had a total miss three days of workouts this summer. I didn’t have to get on them hard; they really showed up. I am excited about our girls’ program because I think this group of girls, once I get the competitive seriousness out of them, they will be tough.”