NEWBERRY — “In a game of anything you can do, I can do, (too),” the Newberry Lady Bulldogs head to Greenville Saturday to play for the upper state championship, just like their “brother Bulldogs,” on the varsity boys team.
This year, unlike the previous two seasons, there will be double the reason to cheer for NHS at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. At 2 p.m. the Lady Bulldogs continue their drive for a championship, squaring off against The Andrew Jackson Lady Volunteers.
Coach Melissa Mendenhall said the Andrew Jackson point guard reminds her of NHS guard Arnasia Boyd.
“(The Andrew Jackson point guard is second leading scorer on the team and contributes a lot,” she said. “They are not like Pendleton getting points off the press. Their offense is more deliberate, running a variety of set plays.”
On defense the Dogs will face a version of what they see each day in practice because the Lady Volunteers play a 1-3-1 defense a lot like theirs.
“The girls are ready to play (today) especially Arnasia,” she said.
Just as the Pendleton game was decided by play in the paint, she believes this game will come down to the play of her big girls and the Dogs small forward, Nigeria Davis.
Andrew Jackson has some depth as does NHS and Mendenhall believes the guard play will be at the same high level on both sides due to a cat-quick Andrew Jackson back court.
It’s the paint where she hopes NHS has an advantage.
Though coaches often tell plays to treat each game like any other, Mendenhall is taking some extra steps to make sure her team is ready to play at its best Saturday.
At the advice of NHS Coach Chad Cary, they will take the girls up to Greenville and let the girls walk through the tunnel and watch a game. Then NHS Lady Bulldogs will practice there, too, which should help the girls with the awe factor of playing in such a big game.
“We are excited by our season and appreciate all the community support of our team thus far,” Mendenhall said. “We hope to see lots of Bulldog blue in the stands Saturday when we tip off in Greenville.”