By Thomas Sellers Jr.
There is no official book on learning how to become a championship team.
But many players, coaches and organizers of winning squads and dynasties would reference things like having commitment, talent, a taste of hardships and mix in heavy amounts of learning how to handle success.
On Jan. 9 the Tipton-Rosemark Academy Lady Rebels read another page from the chapter about handling success beating the FACS Lady Crusaders 78-29 in the TRA Gymnasium.
“The girls have been playing well,” TRA Head Coach Cameron Pridemore said. “We’ve loss a few over the break but they were close games that we played well in. We’re still learning how to finish out our games. We went 2-2 down at Daytona Beach. The games in the middle, we loss them both by 1 point. And we’re leading both of them going into the last minute.
“But that’s good for us,” he continued. “We needed those because if it’s going to happen, you want it to happen during a holiday tournament instead of January. Those were good for us because we’ve still got a lot of learning to do as for how to finish out games. They are learning from those and we are growing.”
TRA grew a large lead in the first half against FACS taking a 43-15 advantage into the locker room. The Lady Rebels outscored the Lady Crusaders 17-7 in the third quarter behind buckets from Abby West, Megan Sanfratello, Jordan Allen, Mary Catherine Turner and Brianna Hall.
Hall closed out the period on a personnel 7-0 run. She attacked the rim on three occasions making layups and drawing a foul once for a three-point play.
The 60-22 lead was increased by Lady Rebels like Eva McIntosh making several baskets in the fourth quarter.
“I forget sometimes they’re still young,” Pridemore said. “The biggest thing I had to consistently stress, although we got beat a few times in close games, every goal we have is still intact. We will take from them and learn from them. We’re moving on. They’ve done a good job of not letting a couple of losses get them down. They’ve understood and have been mature about understanding everything we’ve set in front of us is still 100 percent possible.”
The Lady Rebels are seeking a league title and a return to Sub-State trying to reach the State Tournament for the first time in school history. But other teams are aware of TRA having the ability to achieve all its goals.
So another part of learning how to be a winner is playing with a target on your back.
“We’ve actually been talking about that all week,” Pridemore said. “That we had our first district loss last week to Jackson Christian. Jackson Christian beat us by 2, and after that game I told them, ‘Girls you’ve put yourself in a position now that you’re getting people’s best.’
“It’s not going to be any surprising going on,” he concluded. “People now understand what they’re getting into. We’re getting most team’s best. Every night we have to be mature enough to handle that and have our best every single night. It’s easier said than done. But the good teams are able to do that. And we’re learning how to do that.”
By Thomas Sellers Jr.