Throughout the season I will write weekly reviews going over the games played the previous week. Along with that, I will be providing an upcoming look at the Lady Jackets’ opponents.
Here’s the week in review from Dec. 8 to Dec. 14:
The Lady Jackets came into the week 1-0 overall. Hayesville played three games in five days, including a pair on back-to-back days. The team started the week with the Franklin Lady Panthers.
While this tough non-conference game may have resulted in a loss, the lessons the Lady Jackets learned in the game helped them to finish their week strong with a pair of wins. After having a difficult start to the game, the Lady Jackets battled back by outscoring the Lady Panthers in the second quarter.The Lady Panthers played strong in the second half to hand the Lady Jackets their first loss of the season, 47-32.
The Lady Jackets followed up the next night with a Big Smoky Mountain 1-A conference game against the Lady Tigers of Rosman. The Lady Jackets jumped on Rosman quickly, outscoring them by 13 points in the first quarter. They followed that by outscoring Rosman by 14 in the second quarter to take a big lead into halftime.
With a comfortable lead in the second half, the Lady Jackets were able to give some valuable playing time to their reserves.
The Lady Jackets finished the week with another conference game against the Lady Devils of Swain Co. The Lady Jackets had a tough test in a game that was back-and-forth for the first three quarters. The consistency of the Lady Jackets, who won each quarter of the game, allowed them to slowly build their lead and earn an 18-point victory.
The upcoming week for the Hayesville Lady Yellow Jackets:
Moving into the coming week’s slate of games, the Lady Jackets should have the opportunity to see where they really stand within the conference.
The Lady Jackets are off early in the week, but will be playing on back-to-back nights later in the week as they head to Murphy on Thursday and host Robbinsville on Friday.
Murphy, who is currently 3-0 and has been averaging 74 points per game, will be a tall task for the Lady Jackets. What makes the task even tougher is the Lady Bulldogs have not lost a home game in almost three years.
Murphy did lose one conference game last year and that was to the Lady Yellow Jackets.
Head coach Chad McClure has proved he has the formula to beat Murphy; he has done it before. The Lady Jackets will need to control the pace and not try to get into a shootout to increase their chance to win.
The next night, the Lady Jackets will host the Robbinsville Lady Black Knights in another conference game. Little is known about the Lady Knights, who have yet to play a game this season, but the Lady Jackets and coach McClure are expecting a strong challenge. The Lady Knights do boast two freshman on their roster who are sure to be a bright part of the Robbinsville future. The Lady Jackets were 2-1 against the Lady Black Knights last year; most notably taking down Robbinsville in the playoffs.
Coaches Corner: Our weekly interview with head coach Chad McClure.
Q: What are some positives and negatives from your past week?
A: Positives are the effort and intensity they are playing with. I have challenged them to play with energy and excitement and they are trying to do that. They are going out there and competing. Another thing is they are passing the ball really well. Playing very unselfishly is really helping them because the more you share the ball the better you are going to be offensively and the better you are going to be able to execute. Negatives: I think we have a lot of inexperience which is not really a negative but its keeping us from doing things defensively that we need to do. Depth-wise we’re a little shallow on the bench. We only have eight players, but right now there is not a lot of negatives that I can see.
Q: Where does your team need to improve?
A: We got to get better at blocking out and rebounding. Transition on both ends of the floor offensively and defensively. I think we can get better at transition.
Q: Knowing you have won some big games, conference championships, regional championships and been to a state semifinal, what are your team goals this year?
A: After losing a lot of players off last year’s team and with the inexperience on this year’s team, we talk about being in the upper echelon of the conference. We play in a tough conference. Everybody wants to win a championship; that’s the ultimate goal. But for this team, finishing in the top three is a good, realistic goal. Murphy is really good along with Cherokee and Robbinsville. It’s very competitive and finishing in that top three is a great goal.
Q: Who are your leaders on the floor and in the locker room?
A: Our seniors Jade Patterson and Annie Brooks are doing a really good job with this team. I told them the other day it’s a very fun group to coach because they got along right now and there is not a lot of drama, which can really affect a team, and that’s a testament to those two seniors. They are doing a great job leading with some really good young players on the team.
Q: As we look at this week, what can you tell me about Murphy?
A: They are both very good. Murphy went to the final four last year and has a girl who has signed with Belmont Abbey and another who is getting a lot of looks from (Southern Conference) teams. It’s on the road, which is a tough environment to play in. They play multiple pressure defenses, they are a very aggressive, well-coached team who most are picking to win the conference this year. I am excited to see how our team does in that atmosphere. So far this team has not backed down from any challenge. They have risen to the occasion at every opportunity.
Q: As for Robbinsville?
A: They are going to be better than last year. They have a young point guard that really compliments what they have returning. They have a great shooter and they have not played yet because of their football team’s deep run. They are expected to be very improved this year. You follow teams coming up, and this is a group that has won championships at the youth league, middle school, and (junior varsity) level. It’s back-to-back nights, which makes it tougher, but it’s a good early test for this team to see where we are. We will be able to reevaluate, make improvements, and keep moving.
For those that may not be able to make it down to Murphy or attend the Robbinsville game, follow @TeamFYNSports on Twitter for in-game updates and visit FetchYourNews.com for post-game articles.