The Oak Hill Academy Lady Raiders have had a productive summer in 2011. Coming off a 27-11 campaign which included a trip to the overall state championships last spring, head coach Stan Hughey and the girls have been going non-stop.
“We closed out the summer with a camp at Jackson Academy and two weeks ago we were at an MSU camp and we’ve been playing a little city league” he said. “We’re going to practice with the junior high a little bit and get the high school in the weight room next week. We’ve had a busy summer.”
Although the girls have played several games, they haven’t had much time to practice and that’s something Hughey says they’ll get started once school starts next month.
Hughey said he has a great bunch of shooters this year. But there are still some issues that need to polished.
“We have a really good outside game,” he said. “We have a couple of girls who are coming together on the inside game. But as a team, we have to work on playing more inside out, instead of outside in because we can get people in foul trouble and we get more rebounds and that’s what we’re going to really concentrate when we get back.”
Practice makes perfect, but games are where teams really find out their strengths and weaknesses. Oak Hill battled with some of the best in the state, both private and public school this summer on a weekly basis.
“We’re close,” he said. “We’re real close to being good, just not there yet.”
After losing just a pair of seniors, Kayla Hill and Paige Dawkins, the Lady Raiders bring back three all-district selections from a season ago on a young team with plenty of depth and post season experience.
“We just have to stay healthy,” Hughey said.
Hughey stressed the girls will have to have more consistency in their play.
“We tend to sit back and relax when we have a lead,” he said. “We have to get tough mentally and finish games off.”
Oak Hilll will feature another competitive schedule and district that has been realigned for the 2011 season. Canton Academy, Immanuel Christian School and reigning AA state champions Leake Academy will be the new additions to the District 2AA conference slate which still features Manchester and Winston.
“It’s going to be a tougher district,” Hughey said. “We needed to be in a tougher district. It has not been very strong in the past and now it is.”
The Lady Raiders will be looking forward to getting back on the court this fall.