by Robbie Smith
For the past three seasons, the Northview High School Lady Cougars have been pointing to 2008 as a breakthrough year for their rebuilding program.
Now, the Lady Cougars look to take advantage of their opportunity tonight against Russell County in the first round of the Class 6A, Area 7 Girls Basketball Tournament.
Tipoff from the James A. Convocation Center is scheduled for 7:30 pm.
The Lady Cougars (17-11, 4-2) swept Russell County (7-13, 2-4) in the season series this year.
The winner of the RCHS-Northview game will take on the survivor of the Enterprise-Dothan contest Saturday.
The DHS-Enterprise game is set for tonight at 6:00 pm.
The Lady Cougars started turning a few heads by reaching the sub-regionals last year before falling to Auburn.
NHS head coach Janasky Fleming said the girls have worked hard to earn home-court advantage in the area tournament.
"Our goal this summer was to try to host the area tournament," Fleming said.
"The whole school is proud. I'm especially proud, because the quality of play made it tougher to win the area title and host the tournament."
"We're hoping we can bring a mental edge playing at home."
The Northview girls (11-1 at home) suffered their lone home loss on January26 to 5A power Charles Henderson.
Flemings said playing a tougher schedule during the regular season should help the Lady Cougars in the post-season.
"We lost three games to (5A top-ranked) Eufaula, (6A number one) Bob Jones and third-ranked Hoover in Birmingham," Fleming said.
"It has got the girls used to being in big games."
"Now, it's to the point that we have a target on us. People now step it up and play their best game against us."
Guard Haley Williams, and forwards Kacey Frazier and Alannah Vincent pace a potent offense for the Lady Cougars. Williams, Vincent and Frazier each average 16 points per game this season. Frazier also leads the team wth 15 rebounds per contest.
Senior center Gabby Williams is averaging nine points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots per game.
Southern Union Community College Women's Basketball 2009-2010:
(All times are central standard time)
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Haley Williams update
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Name: Haley Williams
High School: Northview
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