The Lady Crimsons (12-4) prevailed over the Sacred Heart Academy Valkyries (7-5) last Friday, January 9 with a score of 56-52. This game snaps Manual’s two-game losing streak, after close losses to both Mercer County and Central.
Head coach Jeffery Sparks (History) was happy to see his team rebound from recent struggles.
“Offensively we did a good job and settled down a little bit, and we started to understand our looks,” Sparks said. “We just kept getting better and better at learning how to play those close game situations.”
Krystalline McCune (11, #55) put up 21 points and Manual held Sacred Heart to just nine points in the first quarter. McCune was also awarded player of the game, according to high school athletics stats source Maxpreps.
“We really bounced back from the Central game,” McCune said. “We played way better team ball, we talked more, we trusted each other, we had confidence, and I think that’s what really made us successful.”
The team has implemented several adjustments in recent practices, according to Sparks.
“We try to simulate a game during practice, and we try to teach them how to handle their emotions when it matters most,” Sparks said. “We shoot a lot of pressure free throws in practice.”
“(The team chemistry) is way better than last year,” Aricka Prentice (12, #25) said. “Just being together, playing together with this group of girls. We’re anxious and yearning to go back to state, and we’ve got to take it one game at a time, as we go into LIT (Louisville Invitational Tournament).”
The Lady Crimsons will play at home against Mercy (9-4) on January 13th at 7:30 p.m. Maxpreps ranks Mercy as #3 in the state.