“Holy Spirit has one of the best rebounders in the state, Tamira Giles,” Winterboro head coach Sheroderick Smith said. “They have Caroline Sisson and Aeriel Winn; they have been playing for Holy Spirit since seventh and eighth grade. I have watched them over the years. They are a well-coached team with a lot of veteran experience. They are going to be a tough team to stop. They actually have the same final four team from last year, so they all have experience. I think what it is going to come down to whoever the most discipline and skilled team will win out.”
Holy Spirit (22-5) defeated Autaugaville, 63-47 in the Central Sub-Regional to advance to the Central Regional in Montgomery. Tamara Giles led Holy Spirit past Autaugaville with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Caroline Sission scored 20 points, while Aeriel Winn scored 12 points. Smith knows that his team won’t shut down both of Holy Spirit’s top players, but he knows that his team is capable of doing things on both ends of the court that will slow them down.
“It is hard to stop their best players and that is on any team it is hard to stop them,” Smith said. “What we have to do is keep to the game plan and keep to the scouting report. We have to have a balance offense to really help us adjust to the things that they are going to throw at us. They run some many set offensively, that we we just have to stick to the basics on our 1-3-1 defense.”
The Lady Bulldogs (23-7) defeated Notasulga, 85-67 Friday in the sub-regional, which was Coach Smith’s 100th win at Winterboro. The backcourt duo of Jasmine Richardson and Anslea Twymon combined for 56 points in the win. Richardson exploded for a career high 39 points in the victory, while Twymon scored 17 points. Morgan Merritt struggled shooting the ball, but Smith has confidence that Merritt will find her stroke. He believes if all his weapons are clicking on all cylinders that could be dangerous for opposing teams.
“Last Friday was kind of amazing because we scored 85 points and our best 3-point shooter had a bad game,” Smith said. “That is a pretty scary sight. We got a lot accomplished offensively last Friday, the last two practices we have been focused on defense. “
This the third time in a row that the Lady Bulldogs have advanced to the Central Regional. Smith said his team did not say much about earning a trip back to Montgomery. He believes that his team’s actions on the court will determine how much they want it.
“They haven’t really spoken much about it,” Smith said. “We did some team bonding stuff that previous Saturday and they have the mindset that the goals that we set are obtainable. Right now, I think it is more about action, because everybody is good when you get to this level.”
Tip off is set for 3 p.m. from Dunn-Oliver Acadome in Montgomery.