The Childersburg Lady Tigers were one game away from the Class 4A Final Four last season. The Lady Tigers have to replace their starting point guard and their best playmaker in Mac Kelley. Childersburg head coach Johnny Johnson was pleased with his team’s effort on Thursday.
“I did today,” Johnson said when asked if he liked what he saw from his team. “We lost a big player last year. We averaged 25 points in a running clock. I think we did better in the half court; we shot the three ball better today. In the fall, we are going to shoot the ball a lot better than we did last year. We are putting in a lot of work and we are trying different things. We are trying to get the girls used to playing with one another that’s the main thing.
Childersburg went 3-0 in the play date.
In the first game of the play date, rising junior Tariah Reynolds hit the game winner on a lay up to lift Childersburg past Winterboro. The Lady Tigers defeated Central Coosa and Pell City.
“We beat Coosa by 10 or 12,”Johnson said. “Against Winterboro, we played everybody. They had a chance to compete against a good team. Like I told them, we came here to get improved, get better, see the young kids play and go from there.”
The Winterboro Lady Bulldogs went 1-2 in their play date on Thursday. Both of the Lady Bulldogs losses were by one point. In both games, Anslea Twymon got good looks at the basket but the ball rimmed out. Winterboro head coach Sheroderick Smith said lack of focus and effort proved to be costly.
“When you lose by one it could go either way,” Smith said. “We lost to Childersburg and they really outworked us. We missed a lot of layups, which is our fault. They really outworked us. Any time a team outworks you they are going to win on the scoreboard and during the game. The second game, the young girls actually brought us back. Ours are going to start to value the team and the upper classmen are going to have to value the game as well. The last game we scored three points in one half. We weren’t focused; we were talking to folks on the sideline. We do this thing for practice and for fun, but we don’t do it just for fun. We are trying to get to the Final Four. The team is going to have to start taking responsibility. I can only carry them so far. Anslea (Twymon) missed the shot in both games, but that is not what lost the game for us. We didn’t come out to play in the last game and in the first game we got out hustled. If we hustled, I am not saying that we would have won the games, but we would have been in better position against Pell City. Overall, the play date was good for us. Pell City is a 6A school and we have four other (6A schools) ones on schedule for the summer. In order to get where we want to get, we have to play talent that’s way better than us. The teams we played today and the last few summers were definitely progressive.”
Smith also got a chance to see his young players get a lot more action during the summer. Aniya Burroughs played well for the Lady Bulldogs as they fought back from a double-digit deficit against Pell City. The rising freshman made several plays on defense and scored four points during an 11-0 run.
“She actually got some game changer awards from me,” Smith said. “Her parents are supporting me and allowing me to develop her in the right way without any pressure like I do all of my kids. She was a big help for us early last year, then, she went through a slump that all young kids go through. We see some big things for her.”