Pepperell head coach Lee Donahue saw his team dig itself into a hole, but eventually the Lady Dragons were able to claw themselves out.
While the coach was glad to see his team come out on top in a second set against Chattooga, he said inconsistent play is what got the team in the position in the first place — a thing his team will have to work on as they get ready to embark on Area 6-A/AA Public action next week.
“They put themselves in a hole,” Donahue said. “We’ve got to play more consistently and not get into that position, but I was really proud of them for coming back. The thing we talked about is trying to understand that they could come back. Once they got that in there head, they came together and played the way they should’ve played the entire game.”
Pepperell came away with a pair of wins Thursday in Lindale, topping Darlington 26-24, 25-22, and Chattooga 25-16, 25-23. Darlington split on the day defeating Chattooga 25-18, 25-12 after the loss to Pepperell.
Pepperell improved to 10-6 with its wins, and Donahue is glad to see all the tough competition he’s faced so far as the Lady Dragons are set to begin area play Tuesday at Coosa against the two-time defending state champion Lady Eagles and Bremen. Pepperell will also face area contests in the future against Armuchee, Model, Temple, Bremen and Rockmart.
“We’re fortunate enough to be in an area that’s one of the strongest in the state,” Donahue said. “We get a lot of good competition. It really prepares us for the state playoffs. We’ve got one of the hardest areas in the state, and that’s what we have to tell the girls. We’re in the toughest competition from top to bottom in the state, so if we can do well here that will prepare us for the playoffs."
Darlington is just into Area 6-A/AA Private play having lost to Walker earlier in the week.The Lady Tigers improved to 3-10 on the season with the win and will continue area play Tuesday when they host Mt. Paran Christian.
The Lady Eagles and Walker lead the standings with 3-0 conference records, so Darlington head coach Jared Willerson realizes the Lady Tigers are in for a tough challenge against area opponents including North Cobb Christian, Christian Heritage, Whitefield Academy and Mt. Bethel Christian Academy.
“Walker is a really good team,” Willerson said. “Our area is just brutally tough. It’s probably the best area in the state for any classification. It’s a really tough area. We’re just learning to compete. We’re going to compete, we’ve got a lot of seniors, we’ve got a lot of pride, so we’re going to be competitive. By the end of the year, I think we’ll be right there. I think we’ll have a chance to go to the state tournament. If we can just get out of our area, we’ll do well.”
Chattooga opened Area 7-A/AA action this past Tuesday with a 3-0 win against Gordon Central and has another area contest this Tuesday against visiting Gordon Lee.