Griffin second-year head coach Veronica Lee said she had a good feel for her team, which is playing a state-playoff game for the first time in 11 years.
“The girls are excited. They were asking all types of questions during practice [Monday], such as who we will we play if we win and things like that,” Lee said. “We had a good practice and I think we’ll do well against Dougherty.”
The Lady Bears, the No. 3 seed from Region 4-AAAA, will play its usual fast-pace tempo against the Lady Trojans, the No. 2 seed from Region 1-AAAA, which lost to Monroe in the region title game. Lee said Griffin (13-14) will do its best to push the ball up the court and put pressure on Dougherty (15-7), which likes to run a half-court offense. Griffin will run its full-court man-to-man defense and trap Dougherty some as well.
Lee said Griffin will have to contain Lady Trojans junior forward Ra’Keta Shelton (#10), who averages 18.9 points per game and 16.7 rebounds per game. Lee said Shelton is only 5-foot-8, but she makes up for it with hustle and determination. She also averages nearly 3 steals a game as well.
“Shelton isn’t very tall, but she gets to every loose ball and can hit her shots,” said Lee. “We have to definitely keep her off the glass.”
Lee said another Dougherty player to watch is guard Takiya Davis (#12), who likes to score off the dribble. Davis averages 9 points per game and gets about 2 steals per game.
Lee said she was proud of her team’s effort in the Region 4-AAAA Tournament last week, particularly the play of sophomore guard Ashton Elliott, who took over the reins while starting point guard Shacoria Jones played sparingly due to her injured ankle. She also said seniors Xandria Hosely and Chelsea Prather did very well during the region tourney and she hopes they continue their good play during the contest at Dougherty.
If Griffin beats Dougherty, the Lady Bears will face the winner between No. 1 seed Mary Persons and No. 4 seed Wayne County on Friday in second-round state-playoff action. If Wayne County and Griffin both win, Griffin will host the second-round game because it is a higher seed.