Parkers Chapel’s girls didn’t get an easy draw in the 2A South Regional Tournament. Then again, are there any easy draws this time of the basketball season?
The Lady Trojans will take on Poyen on Thursday at 4 p.m. at Caddo Hills High School. The Lady Indians won their conference regular season but enter the regional as a No. 3 seed.
“They ended up losing their semifinal game to Horatio,” said PC coach Justin Welch. “Horatio came in as the five seed and picked up a freshman that, evidently, is a difference maker. So Poyen got beat in the semifinals.”
Parkers Chapel lost to Fordyce in the district championship game on Friday so both squads should be equally mad. And, equally eager as the winner earns a berth in the 2A State Tournament.
“We need to approach it like every other game throughout the year. We’ve always said the next game is the most important game of the year. It’s no different,” said Welch. “We need to approach it like that, execute our game plan as far as what we want to do. I think as long as we do that, the rest will take care of itself. I know these girls are excited and they’re ready to play.”
Poyen (14-7) will bring a different, up-tempo style to the court for Parkers Chapel.
“They play really fast,” said Welch. “You can tell he gets a lot of his concepts from Mike Neighbors. If you’ve watched the women’s Razorbacks, they do the whole race-in-space and kick out and shoot a lot of 3-pointers. They don’t want to make too many passes on offense before they let one fly. I think the key, number one, is to contain the penetration without having to help too much. Obviously, guard the kick-out passes. When they do kick it out, we’ve got to get out there and contest those 3-pointers.”
Defense has been the Lady Trojans’ trademark this season. But this could be a different kind of challenge.
“Transition defense is going to be huge. We’ve been working on it all year long. We haven’t played anybody with this style, so it hasn’t really been tested,” said Welch. “But I’m hoping all this practice we’ve been working on throughout the year preparing for a situation like this is going to pay off.”
Welch said the teams match-up evenly size-wise. Defensively, the Lady Indians have shown basic, fundamental man-to-man principles.
“They are pretty much, really just a halfcourt, hard-nosed man-to-man. The games I’ve watched, they haven’t done anything other than pick you up at halfcourt and guard you really hard,” said Welch. “They’re out in the passing lanes. We’re going to have to make sure we make good passes around them and use a lot of ball fakes.
“We haven’t seen a whole lot of man, but the girls are comfortable with it.”
Getting off to a good start could be important for both teams. The Lady Trojans will have to adjust to the pace of the game quickly.
“I think whoever makes the adjustments and settles in and plays the game that got ‘em there is going to be the ones that wins the game. It’s going to be a battle. There’s no doubt about it,” said Welch, who gave his team the weekend off after Friday’s game. The Lady Trojans have been preparing for Poyen since Monday.
“They’ve done a great job. From the time we got back to school on Monday, they came back ready to work. They were getting after it from the very beginning. I like their attitude and their demeanor. They’ve been watching a lot of film, studying up on them. I think they’re pretty comfortable with what they see. And they’re able to at least have an idea of what to expect. This group has done a really good job of prepping themselves.”