“The girls have begun to buy into our system,” head coach Kelly Nye-Hinkson said.
“They’ve worked really hard from the summer all the way through the preseason which has really paid off. We’re well-conditioned, especially when we had to play four games in five days.”
The Spartans won all four of those contests with victories over Paulding County, Rockmart and North Paulding twice.
“This is the best season we’ve had since I’ve been here,” senior Katie Amritt said. “We’ve bonded as a team, have chemistry and rely on each other.”
South Paulding is in its eighth year of playing varsity girls basketball, all of which has been under the guidance of Nye-Hinkson.
“Coach is awesome,” Amritt said. “She gives us game plans, study sheets and focuses on how we can improve. I couldn’t ask anything more from her.”
The appreciation for the successful building of the program is shown to the players as well.
“Katie is playing like it’s her senior year and is all over the place on defense while giving us scoring opportunities,” Nye-Hinkson said. “I’m proud of her for giving us leadership on the floor.”
Freshman center Kelsi Fizer has also provided a spark as a newcomer.
“Kelsi has been the most dominating freshman that’s come through South Paulding,” Nye-Hinkson said.
Fizer said, “The adjustment to varsity play has been fine. I love the game and always give 100 percent.”
The Spartans’ average point differential is only plus-1.0, which means many contests have come down to the last few minutes.
“We want to come out strong in the first half and not wait till the second half to catch up,” Amritt said.
Nye-Hinkson said. “We’re focusing on our identity as a team because we want the other region teams to fear coming to our place because this is South Paulding basketball.”
The team returns to action Jan. 17 at Paulding County High.