Talk about character.
Seriously, let’s talk about it.
The Smiths Falls RedHawks senior girls basketball team was trailing after the first quarter against Carleton Place High School yesterday, but dug deep, turned on the heat and managed to claim a commanding 27-16 win.
The RedHawks opened their best of three Lanark County Interschool Athletic Association finals with the home court advantage, but it wasn’t without some struggles at the get-go.
“Oh man, there was some humungous nerves going on,” said head coach Shelley Thompson. “But that says something for this team’s character. They held on, they played together.”
Thompson said the girls were “a little nervous” against the aggressive athleticism from the Carleton Place Bears as both teams were working hard.
“They missed about 8,000 shots that they could do on a regular day with their eyes closed,” noted Thompson. “But they got their smiles back by the end of that game.”
A little half-time chat got the RedHawks refocused and they went back to the court with a job in mind, and nine girls ready to lead by example.
“There are nine girls out there and each one has her own job to do,” Thompson said. “They went in there and played really hard.”
Earlier in the game, the rebounds weren’t happening and being so nervous about the championship series made for a bit of stress.
“This team has some really great character and it shows in their ability to hold it together,” Thompson said. “This was a huge mental game and that character value really comes into play. They all have wonderful character.”
Game two is tomorrow at Carleton Place with a tip-off time at 1 p.m. Game three, if necessary, volleys back to Smiths Falls for a 1 p.m. start.
When asked if she’d rather win on home court, Thompson sighed.
“I’d just like to put it away tomorrow and get it over with,” she said.
This is Thompson’s first year with the senior girls basketball team, and she’s got a pretty good record so far. She’s been involved in the basketball program in different areas over the past six years.