AC News Service
Byron Coleman sat in his office Tuesday morning performing an intense game-film study session. Play. Rewind. Pause. Play. Rewind. Pause.
Coleman was studying tape of his Lady Roadrunners' Feb. 24 win over San Jacinto's Lady Gators, a team that turned around and handed AC a 91-88 loss in the regular-season finale this past weekend.
As fate would have it, the Lady ‘Runners will face those same Lady Gators in the opening round of the Region XIV women's conference tournament Wednesday in Jacksonville.
Coleman said he feels comfortable with his team's chances, citing missed opportunities in the loss at San Jacinto.
“We left at least 10 points on the floor in the first six minutes with missed layups and turnovers,” Coleman said. “(San Jacinto) kept the tempo cranked pretty high, and we had opportunities but missed some open shots.
“If we can make up those points we left on the floor, we should be in good shape.”
Coleman said he planned to use the info gleaned from his impromptu film study during Tuesday's walk-through, saying his Lady Roadrunners were on the court Sunday in preparation for the upcoming tournament.
“It's been three days, because we came in Sunday to start film and a walk-through,” Coleman said. “At this point, it's mostly walking through their schemes and ours. You can't leave anything to chance.”
Comparing the win and the loss, Coleman said he saw plenty of reason for optimism while also finding room for improvement.
“First thing, and we had to see it on tape, we just need to attack the rim and make the layups we get,” Coleman said. “After that, it's just offensive execution. We scored 88 points (in the loss), but we still could have executed better. A lot of that had to do with San Jac's defense, but we can make some adjustments I think will help.
“They're a volume team,” Coleman said of the Lady Gators. “We only allowed them to shoot 32 percent, but they took 92 shots. No coach wants to see his defense give up that many points. Thirty made field goals is still a lot of points, so we have to find a way to reduce both those numbers: Shots and makes.”
The Lady Roadrunners boast a balanced scoring attack, with Briana Brown (9.8 ppg), Lisa Nealey (8.9 ppg), Ceidra Coleman (9.2 ppg) and Malachi McQueen (8.2 ppg) leading the offense. However, leading scorer Sandy Rawls figures to be a key in AC's attack, according to Coleman.
“Sandy could be a difference maker on both ends of the floor,” Coleman said. “She's always going to have an impact, especially on the defensive end, but we only got her five shot attempts (in the loss to San Jacinto).”
Still, Coleman said the biggest factor will be seeing his Lady Roadrunners take the same intensity with which they play at home – they upset the No. 2-ranked Trinity Valley Lady Cardinals at home – on the road to Jacksonville with them.
“We won 20 games this season, but where we've struggled is on the road,” Coleman said. “We've got road woes, and that has to do with bringing the same intensity we bring to home games.”
The tournament takes place at the Jacksonville ISD (formerly the Lon Morris College campus) gymnasium in Jacksonville. The Lady Roadrunners and Lady Gators are scheduled for a 3 p.m. tipoff.