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Knights rebounding from first half’s slow start
by Greg Oshust
January 22, 2013 04:18 PM | 2808 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Nathan Self<br>Pace's Olivia O'Connell goes for a layup against teammate Frances Crisler during practice.
Staff / Nathan Self
Pace's Olivia O'Connell goes for a layup against teammate Frances Crisler during practice.
The new year is looking promising so far for the Pace girls’ basketball team.

After struggling through the first two months of the season, the Knights opened up 2013 with a four-game winning streak to improve their record to 7-9 overall going into their game last Friday with Paideia.

Pace is also in the thick of the Region 5A race with a 4-1 mark and is in the hunt for a state tournament spot with a No. 15 ranking in last week’s GHSA Class A power poll.

“I think it’s a good thing and it’s where we want to be,” Pace coach Regina Tate said. “We’re just focusing on each game and focusing on improving.”

Playing a challenging early season schedule that included higher-classification teams like Pope, Whitewater and Northview (AAAAA), Woodland of Henry County (AAAA) and Lovett (AA) as well as Class A powerhouses Holy Innocents’ and Paideia, Pace found itself with a 3-9 record as 2012 came to an end.

The Knights began to turn it around after that, defeating Lumpkin County 41-39 Dec. 29, W.D. Mohammed 66-14 Jan. 8, Atlanta International 40-39 Jan. 11 and Eagle’s Landing Christian 54-33 Jan. 14.

Tate was especially excited about the win over AIS, which entered the game with a 7-0 record.

“This group of kids never lost to AIS and they didn’t want to experience that,” Tate said. “AIS is a good team and they were a tough matchup for us, so it was a big win for us.”

While Pace has struggled to score — averaging about 35 points a game — the Knights have made up for their lack of offensive firepower with a stingy defense that has allowed only 43 per contest.

“We play really good defense,” Tate said. “The other night [in the Eagle’s Landing Christian game], Evelyn Dobbs had 10 or 11 deflections — which isn’t an actual stat, but is still an important thing — and had four steals. We have trouble scoring, but we play defense and rebound well.”

Dobbs, a 5-foot-8 junior guard, leads a balanced Pace attack with 9.2 points a game, while 5-foot-11-inch senior forward Hannah Ferry is averaging 8.3 per contest.

Frances Crisler, a 5-7 freshman forward, is the team’s top rebounder with seven per game, while 5-5 sophomore point guard Lauren Hadley and 5-10 senior center Lindsay Zwecker have also made key contributions.

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