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HOOPS PREVIEW: Coaches hope focus on conditioning to make difference for Lady Tigers
Luv Llewellyn looks for an open teammate during a 2020 contest for the Alcovy Lady Tigers. - photo by Covington News/File Photo

COVINGTON, Ga. — Fielding a team over the offseason has been no problem for the Alcovy girls basketball team. It’s keeping enough players healthy throughout the season that has always hurt the team’s chances every year. 

Head coach Justin Hunter and his staff have prioritized strength and conditioning this summer to help the players build up greater endurance. 

Hunter has done this to avoid a difficult circumstance that happened a year ago. 

“We knew we needed to get stronger to be able to compete and get better conditioning,” Hunter said. “Those things will allow us a better opportunity to compete and play as a team. Last year, I can think back to a game where we had six people. You never want to be in those types of situations if you can help control it.” 

During the offseason, in which Hunter categorized as the “most active” in recent years, the players have seemed to have bought into this philosophy. 

The challenge has been set forth to constantly work on being better conditioned for the season both as a team and individually away from practice. 

Nevertheless, when games begin, the Lady Tigers will hang their hat on defense. 

They plan to be a defensive minded team in 2021 to help give themselves a shot to win more games. 

Hunter’s reasoning is quite simple, too. 

“If you’re an offense that scores 80 points, but gives up 82 points, then, at the end of the day, that doesn’t get you the result that you want,” Hunter said. “But if you’re a defensive team that scores 10 points and only gives up six points, then that’ll help lead to more wins. So, we definitely want to lean toward that strategy.” 

Focusing on conditioning, strength building and defensive tactics gives the Lady Tigers hope to show progress in 2021. 

They’re following up a season where they only won five total games. This year, however, Hunter and the Lady Tigers aim for more success to help accomplish more of their goals. 

“It’s going to take consistent, persistent work,” Hunter said. “I want the players’ effort to be there every time. There’s no excuse. Earlier on in the season, the execution may not be there, but that’s what you’re working toward. So, that’s what I’m focusing on. First, is the effort there, then the execution. From there, we’ll make adjustments for future games.”