MMI no threat for undefeated Lady Braves

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 6, 2004

Eutaw-The 22-0 Warrior Academy Lady Braves have done just about everything they could to assure themselves of another trip to Montgomery this year, but there is still one big obstacle standing in their way.

The No. 4 ranked Lady Braves continue to be undefeated and underappreciated in the AISA rankings, but right now their only concern is 6’3″ Marion Military Institute Lady Tiger Felecia Sprott, who is sure to cause problems for the Lady Braves tonight when the two teams come together in the West Area II Class 1A Area Tournament.

Lady Braves head coach Robert Jarvis knows that his girls must be able to keep Sprott from controlling the boards tonight, but more importantly he knows how to prepare them to do it.

During practices this week, Jarvis adds Braves forward John Freeland to the mix as a new defensive player to help his Lady Braves get a feel on how to guard against a player like Sprott.

According to Jarvis, the 6’5″ 300 pound Freeland knows how to use his size to make things on the court very difficult for the Lady Braves.

“It’s one thing to talk about guarding a person of that size, but it’s a completely different story come game time,” Jarvis said. “So we simulate different situations using John as a post player.”

Although the Lady Braves have been fortunate enough to take care of the Lady Tigers twice already this season, a 36-28 win in Marion and a 45-42 win in Eutaw, Jarvis knows that the odds of beating a good team like the Lady Tigers three times in one season are slim, especially with MMI hosting this year’s tournament.

“It’s real hard to beat a team like MMI twice in a season, much less three times,” Jarvis said. “And it’s going to be even tougher playing in Marion.”

But the Lady Braves don’t hold the No. 4 spot in the AISA girl’s rankings for nothing. On the court they are as good as advertised.

As a team the Lady Braves have scored over 1,223 points this season while allowing 459 points. They have collected 330 steals (15.9 per game) while turning over the ball 260 times (12.4 per game) throughout 21 games.

Though the Lady Braves have already reserved their spot in the Final Eight by winning the area, Jarvis knows that now is not the time to be slacking off.

“We have had a very good run this season, but we haven’t made it to the top of the hill just yet,” Jarvis said. “I just hope our schedule has been tough enough this season to prepare us for what is waiting down the road in the Final Eight and the Final Four.”