Lady Vols set to continue postseason grind at North AAA

Starkville Academy's Meri Laci Archer

Staff Writer

Postseason basketball can be a tough grind.

For the Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers, they are between the District 2-AAA Tournament and the North AAA event.

The Lady Vols fought through two three-point games at the district tournament, losing one to Winston Academy 44-41 on Thursday and winning in the consolation over Heritage Academy 59-54 on Saturday to improve their overall record to 20-11.

“What I was so pleased about on Saturday is I thought we got Heritage’s best shot," Starkville Academy coach Bruce Allsup said. "They played absolutely lights out. We got 19 points out of Meri Laci Archer and 12 out of A’Johnah Baker and Caroline Wood. It was great to see those other girls take up the scoring as they took out our best players in the Triangle and 2.”

It's somewhat of a quick turnaround as the Lady Vols face Bayou Academy Tuesday night at the North AAA Tournament in Columbus. The tip against the District 1-AAA runners up is 6:30 p.m.

Allsup knows that rather than push his players hard in practice over the weekend and on Monday, they spent time resting over the weekend and going through shoot around to begin the week. It was more important for his players to take it easy than push their bodies even further this late in the season.

“The main thing that we were concerned about going into North State was getting our legs back under us,” Allsup said. “We had to play a lot of minutes in a short time and depth has been an issue. We got a little shooting in (Monday), walked through some stuff and scouting report on Bayou. We kept it short and sweet and got them off the floor quick to conserve some energy.”

As for the Lady Colts, Allsup sees a major challenge in several different ways. Bayou Academy doesn’t have just one identity that they’ve grown accustomed to this season. The team can win from several different positions and it’s made for a tough few days of preparation for Allsup and his staff.

Nonetheless, they’re prepared to fight for their season tonight. A win locks them into a Friday battle against the winner of Leake Academy and Lee Academy.

“They’re very physical," Allsup said. "They have a big post player that will take your lunch pale away from you. They have a pretty good point guard that’s quick as a hiccup, so we’re going to have to deal with the physicality and the point guard breaking us down and penetrating.”