“It is an attribute to the girls coming out and starting fast,” Sylacauga head coach Derrick Crawford said. “We’ve played some quality competition so far. We have played three 6A teams already. We are 2-1 verse 6A opponents right now. That could have something to do with it, it could very easily be with how we finished the season last year. We are extremely pleased where we are, but like we tell our kids it is not where you start it is all about how you finish. We are going to keep working hard, stay focus, continue to work and get ready for Talladega. These last five opponents before we go be 6A opponent and Valley. We have a tough road in front of us. I think our kids will be up to it, they play extremely hard. We are pleased with where we are early in the season.”
The Lady Aggies are 7-1 on the season which includes a 52-47 victory over the No.6 team in Class 4A Anniston. Sylacauga has defeated five of their opponents by 20 points or more this season, including a 67-24 win over area foe Chilton County on Tuesday.
The reigning Class 5A Player of the Year, Shakayla Thomas averages 33 points per game through eight games. This season, she has a few more players stepping up on the offensive end of the court, which will help the Lady Aggies in their quest to the Final Four. Tierra Dark and Kayla Dark averages double figures in points.
Crawford isn’t pleased with his team’s defense through eight games. The Lady Aggies have allowed six of their opponents to score 40 points or more this season. In their only loss of the season, Sylacauga gave up 61 points to the No. 9 team in 6A Gadsden City. Through eight games the Lady Aggies have forced 130 turnovers, which is one of things that Crawford is pleased with.
“This team right here is a hard working bunch,” Crawford said. “They are blue collar, they work extremely hard. Defensively, we are still not where we want to be. Our kids are working extremely hard. We average 60 points per game and we are giving up 39. I really feel like this team can be so much better defensively. Shakayla’s point production is down, because we have had three blow outs where we have been able to play everybody and real work on some quality depth down the road. My eighth grader right now, Kayla Dark is our second leading scorer. She is shooting the ball extremely well. Her and Shakayla are shooting well from the 3-point line. We don’t shot a lot of threes, but both of them are shooting from the perimeter very well. Taniya is really starting to come on here of late. We just have to keep grinding and get better every day, if we can do that we can be a good basketball team before this thing is over with.”
Sylacauga takes on Talladega Friday at 6 p.m.
In Class 1A, the Winterboro Lady Bulldogs are 7-3 on the season and are 14 in the rankings. Ragland has a 4-2 record and are 13 in the rankings. In AISA, Coosa Valley is 3-3 on the season and are 11 in the rankings.