The Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers have their sights set on winning another trophy after claiming the Class AAA, Division II State championship last Saturday.
With its tradition of playing good basketball at this time of the year, Jackson Prep stands in the way of the Lady Vols at Jackson Academy today. The two teams play in the first round of the Class AAA Tournament at 4 p.m.
"We can't overlook Prep," Starkville Academy girls coach Glenn Schmidt said. "They have Prep mentality that 'we've always been good and been to these tournaments.' They have very good coaching. Everybody they put on the floor has skill. They are very good athletes."
With players like Sara Bolen, Georgia Dewey and Margaret Horsley, the Lady Patriots have the talent to be able to score points.
Schmidt said, at this point of the season, it will be a challenge against any team that has made it this far.
"It's still a brand new season," Schmidt said. "Everybody playing is playing longer than somebody else. Everybody playing is playing better and they are playing well or they wouldn't be here."
The Lady Vols (37-0) are playing better than anyone and weren't challenged last week in sweeping through the Class AAA, Division II State Tournament. They defeated Lee Academy 74-18, Hillcrest Christian 79-37 and East Rankin 63-15.
All five starters of Tiffany Huddleston, Maggie Proffitt, Anna Lea Little, Sallie Kate Richardson and Nora Kathryn Carroll were members of the Class AAA, Division II All-Tournament team.
Schmidt knows the matchup with Prep (18-15) will be a good one, but is more concerned with the way the Lady Vols approach the situation.
"It's more about our game instead of their game," Schmidt said. "We're going to focus on our game and hopefully let our defense and our rebounding be our foundation. It's a great feeling to know we have this game to play, but it's a big challenge for us."