“Whenever a team has at least two days or more of non-consistent practices at this time of year, it affects us,” Winterboro head coach Sheroderick Smith said. “In the middle of the year you can get out of practice and when you get back on day three or day four you can go back into a practice, but in this case by the time that we have school we will be going back into a game. It is going to affect us and to my knowledge Macon and Lee County have had school, so we are going to be at a disadvantage from a practice stand point. However, I have advised my girls to run on their own and I trust that the majority of the kids ran on their own. I am just concerned about the conditioning stand point. It shows you if your conditioning through the season is going to be put up to the test. If your kids are just dog tired, that means your conditioning hasn’t been up to par to championship standards. If the kids are tired in the first quarter but can bounce back in the second or third quarter and go on, you know that you have been doing a pretty good job.”
The Lady Blue Devils enter tonight’s game looking to bounce back after getting blown out by Loachapoka, 63-25 in the Class 1A Area 6 finals. Last season, Winterboro defeated Notasulga 76-64 in the Class 1A Central Sub-Regional.
“They are missing three starters from last year,” Smith said. “They are a very scrappy team; they have No.11 that is a returning starter, Alex James. They have two or three other girls that have some real good quickness. They like to try to get you out in transition and they play zone a majority of the time and they love to press. I think Notasulga is really going to be up for this particular challenge since we put them out last year and the fact that I have a few relatives on the team. Based on phone calls and text messages that I received, they think they have a good path to the Regional Finals no matter if they are at home or on the road. They are feeling confident right now.”
Smith said his girls began asking for scouting reports and film right after defeating TC Central.
“Whenever you have girls getting to practice early at Winterboro, Alabama that is an outstanding and great sign,” Smith said. “I’ve had girls call me saying they want the film from last year, they want a scouting report. I think they are in championship mode or want to aspire for something greater than what they have been playing for and the fact they want to move forward past their fourth consecutive area championship means a lot too. We have been talking about taking it one game at a time and they are very excited to play Notasulga for various reasons.”
Last season, Jasmine Richardson dropped a career-high 37 points to lead Winterboro past Notasulga. Smith feels if they try to stop Richardson this season that Winterboro has a lot of weapons that will make other teams pay.
“Well, Anslea Twymon has really picked up for me lately,” Smith said. “She really gives us a strong scoring option now and she is really playing with no pressure. She has been able to play with no pressure all of these years since her seventh grade year and she is really playing like a seasoned sophomore with a lot of varsity experience. She is not scared to take a last season shot, she is not scared to take it one-on –one, she is not scared to draw a charge, she is not scared to guard the best player on their team. We honestly feel like when people try to double team or box-and-one Jasmine Richardson, we have some options. My kids know that because I have been stressing that since I got here, we are not a one person team. I have other girls on the team that said coach if someone goes zone on us, it is going to be a long night. That is just pure confidence, we want our kids to have confidence and that is what we have been prepping for.”
If weather permits the tip off for tonight’s game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.