Friday is the big day. The Woden Lady Eagles will be battling in their first-ever appearance at the state tournament.
First team they have to beat will be Panhandle, and considering the tough season Woden has had, they said they're ready for anyone at this point.
Making it to state was a historic accomplishment in itself for Woden, but they're still hungry for more.
“We are prepared for the state tournament, but I think we need to stay focused on what the goal is and not be content with going to state,” said sophomore Reese Taylor. “I think we need to have that determination to win because that's what this whole season has been about. It was about working to go to state and now it's time to win state.”
Woden may have the better record at 35-3 to Panhandle's 28-6 run, but records won't help come game time.
This playoff run, the Lady Eagles have averaged over 52 points a game while the Pantherettes have averaged over 59 points per contest.
“We're going to have to stay in front of their shooter, block out their post, stay on top of our defense and shoot well,” said senior Samantha Lowery.
“Our teamwork needs to be spot on. We need to have good ball movement, take good shots, and be patient and wait for our time to score,” said Reese.
“They're not going to be anything we haven't seen but they are really good, really fundamental and defensive minded,” said head coach Lance Taylor.
Defensively, Woden slightly has the upper hand. They’ve held teams to less than 36 points on average, while Panhandle has allowed just over 36 points a game.
The Lady Eagles confidence has continued to build this postseason, as they've taken down one ranked team at a time. They believe if they can draw the support from their town they've had all year, they'll be just fine.
“Our community is amazing because without the support of our fans we wouldn't be here today,” said Reese.
“It's going to be a good game with two good teams playing, but in the end I feel like we're the stronger team and we should be able to beat them,” said Britney Thompson.
“They expect to win. They're going to go out there and give everything they have. I expect they're going to do it. I expect good things from them,” said Lance.
Woden will play Panhandle in the state semifinal game Friday at 10 a.m. If the Lady Eagles win, they’ll play the winner of Martin’s Mill and Weimar on Saturday for the state final at 1:30 p.m.
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