BY BRANDON RICHARDON
The Lady Hawks of Mill Creek High School have played all season long for the moment to seal their name on the state tournament bracket and will have a chance to do so in the region tournament which begins on Feb. 12.
“All regular season games are preparation for the post season. You play 25 games and the most impactful game will be the one we play Tuesday,” said Head Coach Ashley Phillips.
The four teams that win on Tuesday will not only advance to the next round but will automatically qualify for the state tournament.
“[We] can’t worry about that first game. Bottom line is half the teams will lose that first game and hopefully, what we’ve done all season has prepared us for the tournament,” stated Phillips.
The Hawks will take on Mountain View High School tomorrow night; the Bears just took a big bite out of the Lady Hawks in an overtime thriller this past Friday. MVHS won 45-40. Phillips has noted some areas for his team to improve on.
“We have to be focused and ready to play 32 minutes. We can’t play either a good first half or good second half,” said Phillips.
Despite not putting together a full game, the team averages 52 points per game. The offense goes through their senior leading scorer Nadiya Miller, who hits a lot of 3-pointers. Sophomore Meredith Schulte has emerged as another key cog in the MCHS offense.
“We knew [Schulte] was going to have a good year, but she’s gotten more consistent,” said Philips.
MCHS has a balanced scoring attack and along with their offensive prowess, they have seen lots of improvement on the defensive side.
“[Our] biggest improvement would be defensively. I think we’ve gotten better at playing multiple defenses. We started out okay at man-to-man, but we had to work on our zone and now we can switch between defenses throughout the game,” said Phillips.
The biggest obstacles standing in Mill Creek’s way to a region championship are two of the top teams in the state: North Gwinnett and Norcross and Norcross High School. Both teams have only loss one game in the region and that’s to each other.
“Obviously, they’ve separated themselves; they are two nationally ranked teams, but it’s all about Tuesday,” said Phillips.