Felecia Whitley wasn't a starter on the Glenn Hills girls basketball team last year, but she remembers the trip to the south sectionals at Jones County High School.
The Lady Spartans lost 56-40 to Morrow to end a promising season.
When Glenn Hills returns to Gray, Ga., today, it plans on a different outcome. The Lady Spartans play Westlake at 5:30 p.m. today in the Class AAAA south sectionals.
"We still think about it," said Whitley, a junior forward who played on the junior varsity team and was called up to the varsity level midway through last season. "But we've done well this year, and the only way to avoid being in that same situation is to come out and play."
A victory would send Glenn Hills into the quarterfinals, where they would play the Columbus-Woodward Academy winner at 4 p.m. Saturday.
"Last year, this was all brand new, and that was the first time in 17 or 18 years any girls team from the school had the opportunity to go to the state tournament," coach Bernard Bowman said. "This year, it'll be totally different on how we approach the game, and the girls know what kind of intensity to expect."
After surviving Statesboro in the semifinals of the Region 3-AAAA tournament, the Lady Spartans have played two of their more impressive games of the season - a 67-43 victory over Hephzibah to capture the region tournament titleand a 74-43 trouncing of Peach County in Round 1 of the state tournament.
Senior MarQuita Lacey said she and fellow team captains Marian Whitfield and Sheena Carpenter held a team meeting before last weekend's victory over Peach County.
"We talked about coming out and playing our hardest," Lacey said. "It paid off."
Bowman has stressed to the team about staying out of foul trouble, making the shots count and forgetting about last year.
"We were prepared, I guess that game just wasn't meant to be," Lacey said. "We'll make up for it if we can get past (Westlake). We took that loss as a challenge to do better this year."
Reach Tim Morse at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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