Beating East Paulding in round one, 49-36, on Feb. 9, the Lady Spartans got a little closer to the state tournament.
“We played one of our best games on both ends of the floor. The girls practiced hard all week and we polished up on our full court and mid court press, which threw East Paulding for a loop. We wanted the victory on their home court,” said head coach Kelly Nye-Hinkson.
Three days later they took on Lithia Springs and ended their season with a 52-19 loss. Nye-Hinkson attributed the loss to a few different reasons, with a lack of experience being one of them.
“Lithia Springs has been there several times, and for us, we have only made the second round at region once before 2010. We lacked experience in this situation, and the atmosphere of their home court advantage rattled us,” Nye-Hinkson said.
She also said the Lions’ full court press was not handled well by her team at all, preventing them from properly executing their offense.
Looking towards next season, Nye-Hinkson said the team has to work on its outside shooting percentage, free throw percentage, become better rebounders and guards need to work on ball handling so they can limit turnovers.
While the record may not reflect a great season, Nye-Hinkson said the team accomplished quite a few goals this season and she is proud of the girls.
“Our team motto this season [was] ‘hustle, heart, and desire.’ It showed every day in practice and games — they never gave up no matter the outcome. The girls played until the buzzer sounded,” said Nye-Hinkson.
While Nye-Hinkson is pregnant, she said she won’t let that stop her from coaching this team.
“Yes, I plan to continue to coach. This is my third child and [I] coached through the previous seasons with our other two daughters,” Nye-Hinkson said.
As for the seniors who played their last high school game, Nye-Hinkson said she is appreciative of all their hard work.
“They helped lay back the winning foundation through their dedication and commitment for which our program needed again this season,” said Nye-Hinkson.