It's a formula that has worked before.
As the Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers enter the postseason, they are looking to duplicate the championship run they made last year.
The first step of that journey comes today in the first round of AAA, Division II playoffs. The opponent is Lee Academy.
The Lady Vols don't plan to take any game for granted.
“We are trying to win a state championship, so we are going to take one game at a time,” SA girls coach Glenn Schmidt said. “The opponent is Clarksdale-Lee right now and that is all we are trying to think about. We are just going to focus on our game. The way we play this week and try to capitalize on the things that we do well.”
What Starkville Academy does well is no short list as the team is averaging 63.6 points per game, while allowing opponents just over 30 points per game. The Lady Volunteers have six players shooting at or above 40 percent, while as a team, it is averaging around 30 rebounds per game.
With her team playing some of the best basketball Starkville Academy has seen, it would be easy for the team to become complacent, but if there is anything Schmidt has taught her team, it’s that every game matters.
To Schmidt and her team, the postseason is a “brand new season” and anything can happen so the Lady Vols are making sure to stay focused on each contest and playing their game each time they step on the court.
“The thing you worry about in a tournament is the go-ahead game,” said Schmidt. “This is the go-ahead game. This is the game that gets you three more games if you win it, so you can get to thinking about the other teams so much, that you forget about yourself. From my experience in these go-ahead games, the thing is to keep our youngsters loose because they play well that way. It’s a brand new season. What you have done in the past or the games you’ve won during the regular season, although they help you in your seeding, they don’t matter. That’s the bottom line and that’s the way we want to approach it.”
The 34-0 Lady Vols will tip off with the Lee Academy Lady Colts at 4 p.m. With a win, SA advances to face the winner of the Heritage Academy-Hillcrest Christian game at 2:15 p.m. on Friday.
Following Friday's matchup, the loser will play at 1 p.m. in the consolidation game Saturday, while the winner will tip at 2:15 p.m. for the AAA, Division II championship and a spot in the Class AAA tournament.