Alabama Lady Cats: My Site News

The Alabama Lady Cats finished 4th at Nationals in Winter Haven, Fl. The Cats were seeded 1st in over all pool play winning all their pool play games by at least 15 point margins. I thought the team played as well as I have ever seen them play. We had a let down in the Semi-Finals and turned the ball over several times against a great team and you know what happens then. We lost an Eleven point lead with 1:20 to go in the game. We had to foul down the stretch and they hit their free throws like Champions do, and we came up short 51-55. The greatness of the 2003 Lady Cats were they never quit and whether down 2 or down 20 they believed they would win. They believed till the end they would win Nationals, I did too! To come up short, hurt, but I'm a better coach because of it. I know what I should have done to win and next time I will. I know the girls feel like they would have done this, or done that different. Next Time I'm sure they will! That is what the game is all about, it teaches us lessons about ourselves and our lives, lessons we carry off the court and with us for life.
   The Lady Cats played hard and now that they have come as close as they did, want a shot at that Championship. Maybe 2004 will be the year! I know the Girls will work hard, where that takes us, time will tell. Wherever we end up, Whatever tournament we end up in, I know that it will be a great experience, because hard work pays off, and these girls work hard!

2002 Nationals
Lady Cats Finish 7th at YBOA Nationals
The Alabama Lady Cats finished their great year with a trip to The YBOA National Championships in Polk Co. Florida. They did a terrific job finishing 7th. The story behind the story is they did this with only seven of their teammates. The Lady Cats lead by double digits in every game but one, losing their first game to defending champions, The Harrisonburg VA. Heat by 8 points, after leading for most of the game. Two more loses came in Overtime and another in regulation by only 4. The Alabama Lady Cats know that with all their team next year they will return and claim the title that seemed to dangle just out of reach.    National Champions is not something that every team starts out with as a goal, but the Lady Cats were so close they know that with everyone back and healthy in 2003, and the addition of a couple of new players, (One of which has already committed), they will be a top contender. Coach Benefield was so proud of the girls and how hard they worked, "There were so my times that a player would step up and be a leader, that you could not name them if you tried. We had black eyes and sore everythings. I'm just proud to be their coach." he said after the nine days in Florida.
    Keri Havis of Guntersville High School received All Tournament Honors, with two player of the game votes from the opposing coaches. Stefanie Vance of Emma Samson High School received three player of the game awards and Jeselyn Benefield, also from Guntersville High was selected twice. Stefanie also won the Free Throw shooting competition, to become the 16u National Free Throw Shooting Champion. This is Stefanie's Second National Championship title. She was the 12u Softball Distance throwing National Champion (This is true but its also an inside joke) Congrats to Stefanie, but let me say I think the whole team shot very well all tournament. Check out the individual game summaries under Schedules.

The Alabama Lady Cats took the YBOA State Title by storm. The Lady Cats had to play the Montgomery Stars for the Championship. The Cats had played the Stars before and it had been a tough game. In the first game the Cats' Jessica Thompson had step out early and hit 100% of her first 4 or 5 treys. This got the cats off to a big lead and they held that lead into the forth quarter when the Stars closed the gap to 12 points. They seemed to be gaining the "mo". But the Cats responded and won the first meeting by 64 to 38.(Read about the entire game under Schedules and game summaries) In the second meeting they tried to shut the cats down by doubling up on Jessica Thompson but Jessica responded like the champion she is and got the ball to the open player and Lynsie Lamitie had 21, Stefanie Vance had 16, and Keri Havis had 11. The Cats shot well from the line with 20 of 26. We controled the boards and took care of the ball and any time you do this you can rack up a 59 to 26 win. Great job Lady Cats! The best thing I saw was our help and recover defense, Again Great job Cats! I am so proud of you.

I knew last Friday going down to Tuscaloosa, that winning the state was going to be tough, but it was something that we were going to do. Not maybe going to do if we were lucky, but definitely something we were going to do. I still don't believe we didn't do it. I didn't take it too lightly, but we just didn't seem to be able to make it happen. A lot of things helped to put us out, but it's over and I must put it behind me just like every player must put it behind them.
    But did we have success? Yes, no question about that. You can not be associated with this bunch of girls and not feel successful, successful as a coach, successful as a player. Chuck Swindoll says in GROWING STRONG IN THE SEASONS OF LIFE, "The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails...but rather the one who moves on in spite of failure."
    To borrow a paragragh from, LESSONS FROM THE HARDWOOD, by R.McKenzie Fisher, We can't always control situations that cause us to fail. Sometimes we can try our best and still others are better. Often plans fail for unknown reasons. None of that should stop us . As Dr. J says, we can learn from our losses. Remember, the only time you fail is the last time you try!
             Pat Riley
             Head Caoch(Lakers,Knicks,Heat)
   This weekend was misery, because I know in my heart that we had the best team down there. I believe and I want you girls to believe. Because we will have our chance to shine!!

I'm not sure this rule applies to Celebrations at Appleby's after a win. But next to Basketball The Lady Cats love to eat and have a good time. If you ever see those three guys on the right side of the picture, please contact the Red Devil Cafe in Elkmont. They are suspected of having stolen the waitress' only serving tray.

The lady cats qualified for the AAU state finals this weekend. They will be seeded 2nd in the North after falling short of the NW Alabama Shooters, in a close 80-85 game. The played the Lawrence County Storm on Friday night winning that one 85-64. After losing to the Shooters in a close one that kept all the Lady Cat Fans on the edge of their seats, They played the Blue Wave, and crested with a 101 to 53 win over the wave. Check in to the Web site under schedules to see a full report of each game.