March 11, 2021
When it comes to the playoffs, most coaches say it is a completely different season. They believe what your team accomplished during the regular season doesn’t mean a thing – win or lose. Everyone starts at 0-0 in the postseason.
Andrew Reliford and the Adair County High School Indians head into next week’s 20th District Basketball Tournament hoping that cliché is true. The Lady Indians will be the fourth seed and look to overcome Marion County, Campbellsville and Taylor County.
“I feel confident going into the postseason, but the postseason is a different animal,” Reliford said. “I have seen one seeds not show up at all, and I have seen four seeds that might have a chance. I have seen it the other way, too. There can be some crazy stuff happen sometimes in the postseason.”
The district tournament is slated to begin with Adair County (5-13, 0-3) facing Campbellsville (11-8, 3-0) on Wednesday at Adair County High School. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. The other semifinal will be Thursday, March 18, at 6 p.m. That game will include Marion County (9-4, 2-1) and Taylor County (8-10, 1-2).
The tournament championship game will be Saturday, March 20 at 6 p.m.
Even though their regular season finale is slated for Friday, the Lady Indians are focused now on preparing for Campbellsville. Reliford knows the postseason is about playing one game at a time, and getting by the Eagles will be a tough test. CHS’ inside-outside game with Briante Gowdy and Lainey Watson has proven difficult to beat.
“They’re playing extremely well right now and I think they’ve only lost two or three games since we played them,” Reliford said. “They’re very well-coached and they play so hard. Gowdy does a great job of running the show. They’re a good ball club.”
Reliford said the second semifinal with Taylor County and Marion County would also be a good contest. Both teams, he said, are very talented.
“Taylor County is a physical team and their senior leadership (Emma Maynard and Avery Smith) is very good,” Reliford said. “We can compete with them, and I think we can pick up the tempo against them, press them. However, I think our half-court offense wasn’t too bad the last time we played them.
“(Deyera) Spalding, the big girl in the middle for Marion County has excellent size and a great touch around the basket. She is such a big presence in a game and she is a very good shot blocker. (Tanika) Williams is fast and we will need to try and keep her under control.”
The Lady Indians will host Valley High School Friday in their final contest before the tournament. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m.
“Keys for us in the tournament come down to three simple things,” Reliford said. “Sports aren’t complicated. If you think about it, just take care of the ball, and put the ball in the basket. The other thing is rebounding.”
By Scott Wilson
For more information on the 20th District Tournament, get the March 11 Adair County Community Voice newspaper.
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