By: Barb VanSickle-Roush
The Scioto County Candor
The Minford Lady Falcons ended their fantastic season on Wednesday with a loss to the Africentric Lady Nubians.
Minford got to this point with a win over the Southeastern Lady Panthers to clinch the Division III title on Saturday.
Everyone knows a District Championship is a big deal, but for Minford it was even more.
“(The win) it’s enormous, I mean, like we’ve achieved our goals, we really have,” said Lady Falcons Coach Scott Caudill. “I mean we want to keep playing, but at the beginning of the year we talked about individual goals, but we also talked about team goals and we made sure that our individual goals align with our team goals and this was the common goal that all our players wanted. They wanted a deep tournament run and they definitely wanted a district championship.”
With so many wins in a season, it comes down to preparation and being able to handle the pressure of the tournament games.
“Once we handled (the pressure) we knew it was going to come down to our role players,” continued Caudill.
Each girl in the Minford line up had a role to play for the Lady Falcons. These tournament games came down to the key role players.
“Our role players really stepped up. Erin was phenomenal, she led us in a great way, Ashley stepped up,” Caudill continues. “And our role players, with Caitlyn Puckett on both ends of the floor, just played their hearts out.”
But not was it just about the players on Saturday, it was all about their execution of plays in those key roles that lead to the Lady Falcons victory.
“It just came down to execution and we wanted to really pressure their role players we knew they had Ella Skeens who is a very good basketball player but we weren’t going to try to do anything special with her, just try and keep her contained, and we wanted to pressure everybody else and our kids bought in. Our kids did that, and that’s what caused (the Lady Panthers) a lot of trouble,” the Lady Falcon coach added.
The biggest question was, how do you prepare for a team like Africentric Early College?
“They are a very athletic team, we are just going to have to handle their pressure,” Caudill said. “We’ve got a lot of film on them, and we just have to come in and handle their type of pressure. If we are able to play under control and fundamental, I think we will hang right in there and give them a run for the money.”
Come game day, Coach Caudill and his Lady Falcons were clearly excited and pumped up for the game and challenge ahead.
“I’m looking for our girls to step up and play physical and match intensity,” said Caudill of his team. “Obviously at this level we know Africentric is a very good team, I have the most confident team I’ve ever had, and we just have to make sure we don’t back down and stay chest to chest with them.”
Unfortunately, the Falcon’s run for the state came to an end on Wednesday with a 72 to 45 loss to the Nubians.
Win or lose though, Minford’s ladies had a fantastic and inspirational season. With their only other loss coming from the #1 Waterford Lady Wildcat’s. The Lady Falcon’s ended their season 24-2.
Even though their season has come to an end, they have had tremendous success and that should be an inspiration to everyone. The most important contributing factor to the Falcon’s success was twofold: Leadership and Relationships.
“Leadership and relationships for us,” said Caudill. “We knew we had talent, but we always go back to the saying ‘talent without teamwork is trouble’. You see a lot of talented teams with a lot of talented players that come together and don’t have that teamwork. Our kids have really bought into their roles, even the girls who don’t get as much playing time as they would like. We’ve always had exciting practices and there is always a really fun atmosphere and it all comes down to leadership and relationships.”