By Mark Clark
As the regular season comes to a close, Central High coach Carolyn Wright has one job for her team to do – regain its focus.
The team started the season with a string of losses in a tournament in the northern part of the state, found a way to pull itself to a few games above the .500 mark and are now teetering between a winning season and losing season. The team entered the final week of regular season play at 12-11 overall and 2-2 in the area, good enough for second place behind Auburn High. But, that is not where Wright wants her team.
“We have to regain our focus. We have to try to improve on the things I have told them to improve upon all season. We need to cut down on the turnovers which have been about 25 per game. That needs to be at 15 or fewer. We have to improve our free throw shooting from 52 percent to around 70 percent. We have to keep concentrating on doing those things and we will be okay,” Wright said.
The Lady Red Devils will be at Eufaula High tomorrow night and travel to Hardaway High of Columbus on Saturday to end the regular season. The team will use those games to prepare for the area tournament which will be played at Auburn High Feb. 7-9. Central plays Smiths Station on Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. ET for a chance to play Auburn in the area title game. The winner of the title game will earn the No. 1 seed from the area in the regional tournament in Montgomery later this month. The loser will get the No. 2 seed and will match up with the Montgomery area schools – R.E. Lee. Jeff Davis, Prattville and Enterprise at the regional tournament.
“I think we always play really hard. But, we have got to player smarter. We have to learn how to finish games. We have to learn how to fight in close games,” Wright said.
Central won two of its three games last week, defeating Shaw and Northview and losing to Auburn.
Central topped Shaw 63-53. Alleya King led Central’s scorers with 17 points. Kayla Davis had 15 points. Ambreanna Horace scored 11 points for the Lady Red Devils.
In the loss to Auburn, 55-33, Davis was the only player to score in double figures with 12 points.
Central ended the week with a 62-51 victory over Northview of Dothan. King was the leading scorer for the Lady Red Devils with 21 points. Eryn Johnson was right on her heels with 19 points for Central.