It’s clear both Benjamin Russell and Dadeville’s girls basketball teams are still trying to work on some things. Neither have that go-to player who can be counted on no matter what and with just two weeks left in the season, there are still a lot of kinks to be worked out.
Neither team scored more than four points in the first quarter or 15 in the first half of Saturday’s non-area matchup, but the Wildcats finally started to put some things together late to capture a 40-30 victory.
Benjamin Russell looked like they might start to run away with the game on two separate occasions. After leading just 14-11 at halftime, the Wildcats (6-11) came out of the second-half gate strong by scoring he first eight points of the third quarter to build up a double-digit lead. However, that didn’t last long as Dadeville (5-9) started to chip away at it and cut the deficit to 28-24 heading into the fourth.
The same thing happened again to begin the fourth quarter with Dadeville going scoreless in the frame until there was just 2:46 remaining. By that point, it was too tough to overcome.
“We’re trying to correct some things that we’ve done wrong these last two games,” Tiger coach Pam Holloway said. “It’s just some simple small mistakes that I think will help us get more focused on hitting more shots and will help us get in position to score more. It’s a lot of little things we’re not doing that takes us out of our offense or even on the defensive ends where we would have more opportunities to score.”
Defense is one of the things Holloway prides her teams on and although the Tigers did a great job of putting pressure on Benjamin Russell, it had a ton of miscues of its own and that didn’t lead to those easy fast-break buckets Holloway typically tells her team to look for.
Benjamin Russell, which has been struggling mightily with turnovers recently, finished with 31 on Saturday but Dadeville had 28 of its own.
“I would like to see us be a lot more aggressive and for us to take advantage,” Holloway said. “We were able to force some turnovers or there were some turnovers that they hurt themselves with, and we need to take advantage of that instead of coming right back and turning the ball over ourselves. That comes from not being aggressive and not doing those little things that we’re going to have to correct.”
One area where Benjamin Russell really excelled was on the boards and that allowed the Wildcats to hold their leads when they got them. BRHS finished with 38 turnovers, including 12 by Bre Smith and nine from Brooklyn Edwards. On the other hand, Dadeville’s leader, Tamia Cross, had just five.
With the season quickly coming to an end, Dadeville still has half its area schedule left on the docket and the Tigers are looking to close out the season strong and make a postseason push.
“If we can get those little things corrected, I know we can be a much better team going down the stretch,” Holloway said. “I do feel pretty good that they’ll continue to listen and work so I feel good about our chances finishing up the season.”
Editor’s note: Benjamin Russell coach Latreisha Moon was not available for comment after the game.