MONTICELLO, Ga. — Final Four and state championship appearances have already been checked off the Piedmont Academy Lady Cougars’ list of goals the past three years. The only thing that eludes this group is a state title.
The Lady Cougars have spent this offseason working toward accomplishing the ultimate task.
And, while claiming the top prize has slipped through Piedmont Academy’s fingertips in recent years, head coach Michael Wilson has kept his team focused on the every day work.
“We worked hard in the offseason to get better at the little things,” Wilson said. “We want to play the game as a team and for everyone to understand their role. We have really stressed each person doing their job and when that gets accomplished the team and all individuals get what they should.”
Last year’s state runner up season featured numerous underclassmen. In fact, over half out of the roster was made up of freshmen and sophomores.
Sophomore Marissa Holder averaged 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists per game to lead the Lady Cougars as a freshman last year. She was second in the state of Georgia for 3-point field goals made last season with 87.
Junior Teagan Satterfield and sophomore Kylie Keck combined for 12 points per game, too.
Wilson pointed to all three individuals as crucial pieces to the championship puzzle.
“If they continue to play together and share the ball as they have done, we are going to score a lot of points I believe,” Wilson said. “They have been integral parts of our team the last two years and each year their role and our expectations for them have increased and they've met them each year.”
Even though those three players had the best statistics at season’s end, Wilson stressed how each player on the 12-man roster heavily contributes game in and game out.
“We can play 11 on any given night and that is a great luxury,” Wilson said. “But, as a coach, it is also a challenge to keep 11 talented teenagers focused on doing what they need in order for the program to be successful.”
Seniors Abby Arnold, Jacie Jenkins and Haiden Crews return to this year’s squad as well as juniors Beck Piedra and Bailey Mobley.
On their way to the championship game, the Lady Cougars went 23-7 overall with a perfect 6-0 record in GIAA Region 1-AA. In the playoffs, they downed St. George’s, Windsor Academy, Cottage, Terrell Academy and Westwood.
Brentwood Academy was too much for Piedmont Academy to handle defeating the Lady Cougars 54-30.
Now, the Lady Cougars are refocused on a fresh season that is already underway.
Wilson is on the edge of his seat to see how exciting this season will be for his girls basketball team.
“I love to watch these girls compete and grow while here at Piedmont,” Wilson said. “They are a really good team, an excellent group of girls who are great in the classroom and on the court. They love being around each other and are fun and entertaining to watch play the game. I don't think there is another team around like us.”