Lady Lions rout New Albany Print
Written by George Browning   
Thursday, 18 January 2018 06:02

Competitors compete no matter the score or the situation. Salem had the outcome of their January 9 game against New Albany in hand, but that didn’t stop sophomore Leah Miller from giving extra effort in the final minutes.

Head Coach Jerry Hickey said he asked his team what the best part of the team’s 60-46 win was?

Senior Jamie Taylor agree with her coach.

“We were up 15 with a minute to go and one of the New Albany girls had really hurt us,” said. “Leah got caught on a ball screen and she looked like a player possessed and chased her everywhere and tipped the ball away from her. It was a play that only a competitor makes, and only a winner makes. That really sums her up and the other players take notice.

“Jamie stood up and said it was watching Leah chase that girl from behind.”

Hickey said even though his team earned the win over a big 4A school, it probably wasn’t thier most complete performance, but it was one of their strongest efforts.

“We played as hard and rebounded as hard as we had all year,” he said. “We told them our key would be to keep them off the offensive glass. New Albany doesn’t have great shooters and rely on a lot of offensive rebounds for their scoring. Our rebounding was the difference.”

Miller, who is just a sophomore, finished the game with 21 points and according to Hickey is playing as well as any player in Southern Indiana.

For all the attention Miller is getting, Hickey said Lettie Nice is also finding her way as a triple-threat player, as well.

“She (Lettie) had double figure in rebounds and I am guessing she finished close to double-digit blocks,” he said. “Before it’s all said and done she is going to have some triple-doubles. She was so good against New Albany. It might have been her best game.”

Hickey said in order for Nice to take her game to another level she has to realize how important she is to the Lady Lions.

“She has to understand we need her to score,” he said. “Up to this point, she hasn’t been called upon to score. She looks at herself as scoring is her third option, we are trying to get her to see that we love her rebounding and we love the way she blocks shots, but we want her to score more too.

“At one point against New Albany I could tell she wanted the ball in the paint and that’s encouraging, because that’s as big a team as we’ve played this year and she was ready.”

Salem is 17-4 on the season and currently ranked fourth in the Class 4A coaches poll and is among the favorites to win the 3A sectional they will host later this month.

Hickey said while they are playing well, there is still room to get better.

“The key for us is that we keep playing hard and that we keep having that third, fourth and fifth scoring option every night,” he said. “Leah is playing at a level right now that a lot a lot of other players aren’t playing at and Hope (Tomlinson) is a consistent scorer, so to get the third, fourth and fifth scorer is key for us.”

Salem was scheduled to travel to Silver Creek Tuesday and it’s not known at press time if that game took place.

Their next game will be Thursday at home against Charlestown.