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Cliff Williams / The Outlook Dadeville coach Pam Holloway speaks to her team during a timeout.

All season long, Dadeville girls basketball coach Pam Holloway has been preaching defense. She doesn’t just like to play at a fast pace and have her team hold its opponents off the scoreboard as much as possible. But Holloway also knows defense can translate to offense, and that was exactly the recipe for success Monday night.

The Tigers scored several points in transition and tied their second-highest scoring output of the season with a 54-31 victory over B.B. Comer in the Class 3A Area 7 semifinals.

“We played a lot more aggressive and that’s what helped us down the stretch to manage to pull away,” Holloway said. “We were more aggressive and hit a few more shots, especially more than the Elmore County game in our (regular-season finale).”

Layla Grace, D’Asia Caldwell and Natori Giles led the offensive onslaught while Ka’Niyah Wilkerson and Nhylee Banks both played well defensively.

“Banks scored the lowest of that group, but she did a good job of running the point and running the offense,” Holloway said. “Her shot just wasn’t on but she made up for it on defense.”

There were a lot of positives Holloway saw from the Tigers she hopes they’ll take into today’s area championship against Beulah. Dadeville had to play Beulah twice during the regular season, and the Bobcats had fairly convincing wins during both games, winning 36-23 and 47-32. But Holloway said if the Tigers can play with the same aggression and intensity they did Monday night, they should have a good shot.

The area championship will be a rematch of last year’s, which Dadeville won in the third overtime period. Holloway knows Beulah remembers that game well and will be wanting revenge.

“I don’t dwell on the past but the past defines the future sometimes,” Holloway said. “Especially coming off the triple overtime game and them feeling so close, now they’re on their home court and they’ll come out prepared and I think they’re going to be very aggressive minded. We have to come out with that in mind.

“It’s a new game but we have to know they’re going to come at us with everything they have. We have to keep our right mental capacity and keep our focus on the things we’re capable of.”

Regardless of what happens tonight, Dadeville secured a spot in the sub-regionals by winning Monday night.

“That’s a very nice win and to know you have another opportunity,” Holloway said. “I’m glad this group of girls has that opportunity and it’s nice to see everything you’ve been working on come together. You want them to get a taste of that success and want more.”

Lizi Arbogast is the sports editor at Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc.