theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

Local Sports

December 24, 2012

Lady Tigers experience big turnaround

Ada —      The East Central women's basketball team will carry a five-game winning streak into the new year.

     What a difference 365 days has meant for veteran head coach Kent Franz and his club.

     The Lady Tigers recorded an impressive 8-2 pre-holiday record — super impressive considering the ECU women finished the 2011-12 season with a subpar 8-18 overall mark.

     "We've already matched our win total from all of last year, and it's not even Christmas yet so the kids are sky high right now," Franz said after his team held off St. Mary's, Texas 83-80 last Wednesday inside the Kerr Activities Center.

     How big of an improvement have the Lady Tigers made? Last year, ECU lost eight of its first nine contests. That's right, Franz had to endure his team's 1-8 start after a 70-56 setback to Cameron Dec. 31, 2011.

     "Probably the biggest reason for the turnaround, from the very first meeting of the postseason last spring until our last practice, we've demanded a lot more accountability," Franz said. "We've holding everybody accountable for their actions. It's been kind of a rededication for all of us."

     The Lady Tigers have made the dramatic turnaround with the same players that suffered through last year's season.

     "We had seven new kids on last year's team and they are all back this year. We all understand each other better — where we're going to be, what are strengths and weaknesses are. We just never got all on the same page last year, not consistent enough anyway. We're a lot more consistent this year," Franz said. "The theme has kind of been that you either get all in or you get out and they've bought in to it."

     The ECU women have been in a number of tight battles so far this season. In fact, ECU is four points away from sporting an undefeated record.

     "Right now, we're 8-2 and our last eight ballgames we've won or lost by single digits. Our two losses were by two points each, and those were games we had chances to win, and maybe should have," Franz said. "But I don't know if we had won those, we would know as much as we know now about our team."

     More times than not, the Lady Tigers from a year ago would come out on the wrong end of close contests.

     "Last year, even when we were 1-8, we would play 30 minutes of pretty good basketball (per game) but those other 10 would get us beat because we weren't paying attention to detail — the little things," Franz said. "This year, we've been through some pressure situations and handled it well.  Last year, we found a way to give those type of games away and we're not doing that. We're understanding that one play here or there may be the difference in a game and not necessarily the last play."

     Despite starting only two of ECU's first 10 games, senior Lindsay McCown is the Lady Tigers' leading scorer at 12.5 points per game. Dilan Webster, a sophomore, is the only other ECU player averaging double figures at 10.0 per outing.  But five other Lady Tigers are averaging at least six points per outing.

     "They believe and they're confident. They understand if they do things right, it gives them a great chance to win, no matter who we're playing," Franz said. "And we also understand that if we don't, we have a chance to come out on the wrong end of it too."

     Sophomore Erin Walling, a graduate of Ada High School, has started eight games for the Lady Tigers and is 6.2 points per game and has made 10 3-pointers, second best on the team.

     East Central dives head first into Great American Conference play when it returns from the holiday break with home games against Arkansas-Monticello on Jan. 3 (at 5:30 p.m.) and Southern Arkansas Jan. 5 (at 2 p.m.). Following that home stand, four of ECU's next five contests will be on the road.

    "You can see it with every game. Our kids are starting to believe more and more in each other," Franz said. "They know what this team is capable of, and it's sure an enjoyment to be able to coach this bunch. We're enjoying the ride right now."



 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Tournament time Byng still remembers its angels in the outfield

    Thirteen years ago, a tragedy jolted the community of Byng.

     

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cougs getting better Ada High Golf Results

    Monday, April 21

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • A look back Rosters announced for All-Star Classic

    Rosters for the 41st annual Ada News All-Star Classic have been finalized after a meeting by the Ada Area Basketball Coaches Association last Wednesday.

     

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Frazier doesn't falter Ada splits pair in Harrah

    Oshawv Frazier allowed just six hits over seven complete innings and Jake Boone hit a triple and a single and scored a pair of runs as Ada downed Cleveland, 5-2, Saturday in the Harrah Festival.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indians keep on truckin' Asher wins tough Roff Invitational

    The Class B second-ranked Asher Indians received a two-run homer from Tim Johnson and solid pitching from right-hander Caleb Dubler in registering a 7-6 victory over Class 2A second-ranked Dale to capture the championship of the 20th Annual Roff Spring Invitational on Saturday.

     

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lady Cougar golfers Local Golf Results

    April 22, 2014

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-20 ada15,6-gsoc.jpg Ada girls soccer team defeats Madill

       Amaris Smitherman and Taylor Hodges each tallied a goal as the Ada High School girls’ soccer team rolled to a 2-1 district victory over host Madill on Friday night.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-20 roff baldridge.jpg Dale edges Roff in semifinal war

    Class 2A superpower Dale scored two runs in the top of the fifth inning to earn an emotionally charged 3-1 win over host Roff in a game that ended with Tigers head coach Ead Simon watching from the other side of the fence late Friday night at the 20th Annual Roff Spring Invitational.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-20 matison worcester.jpg Tushka tops Latta, 9-3

       Hard-hitting Tushka scored four runs in the top of the seventh to break open a tight game and pull away from shorthanded Latta 9-3 Friday in a winner’s bracket showdown of the 2014 Highway 1 Classic in Roff.

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • 4-20 treston tully.jpg Treston Tully named Class 2A Player of the Year

       Treston Tully is the consummate all-around basketball player.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video