October 18, 2018

Akins’ Lady Braves nearly perfect in December

(Locust Grove, GA) — The Lady Braves varsity basketball team are on a big roll heading into 2016 after tallying two more wins this week at the Locust Grove Holiday Tournament.

The 54-30 win over Locust Grove Tuesday afternoon and a 32-28 win over Social Circle Wednesday morning finished off a nearly perfect December for Coach Helen Akins’ squad (9-1) with the lone defeat of then month coming in overtime on December 1.

The current nine-game winning streak gives the ladies 10 wins on the season, matching the total from all of last season — Akins’ first at the helm of the Lady Braves. Akins have been very pleased with the way the girls have responded early on in the non-region schedule.

“I just think our defense is playing real strong right now. Even when we are having an off night offensively, our defense has been consistent and steady and we have been able to pull off some big wins,” says Akins.

Lady Brave head coach Helen Akins

Lady Brave second year head coach Helen Akins

Wednesday’s close, low-scoring win over Social Circle was just another shining example of that tough, defensive mentality of this year’s team.

“We started a little slow in that early morning 11 AM tip, but I was still proud of the girls for handling the pressure and getting the win over Social even though we didn’t play as well as we have been.”

Senior Madison Whitehead led the scoring for the Braves in the latest win with 15, nine of which came in the fourth quarter.

Whitehead has been the biggest scoring threat all season long for Coach Akins, but she is not alone as the whole team has played well.

“Hannah Sanders and Jordan Watson have just been rebounding their tails off inside. I am real proud of them,” said Akins. “Also, our sophomore Sage Kelley has been doing an outstanding job running our offense from the point position.

The quality play of the team has not been limited to just the starting line-up this season, especially in recent weeks.

Junior forward Kimberly Harris, for example, just returned from some early season back problems and was huge in Tuesday’s game, coming off the bench to lead the Lady Braves with 16 points.

“Another one of our sophomores Emily Iddins has been getting a lot of minutes and working really hard. You can always feel good about putting Emily in the game because you know she is going to work,” adds Akins.

The schedule now turns to Region 5-AA play which means some big rivalry games coming up beginning this Tuesday night when the Lady Braves host the Bowdon Red Devilettes.

“Rivalry games are always different — you can’t really scout that kind of atmosphere — it always makes for a different kind of game when its a rivalry game,” says Akins, who is hoping for a large contingent of Heard County fans for Tuesday night’s first region match-up at home.

Both varsity teams stayed overnight for this week’s tourney and enjoyed some basketball fellowship when they stopped off in Newnan on the way home to see the movie “Creed.”

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