CARL JUNCTION, Mo. – The Carl Junction girls have a history of postseason dominance. They’ve won six straight district titles and on Saturday, the Bulldogs begin their hunt for title number seven.
“I’m sure teams are wanting to end our tradition of winning districts, so I think it definitely puts a target on us,” says senior Ellie Lawson.
“We’ve had a target on our back for awhile and it’s a piece we’ve grown accomustomed to,” says head coach Brad Shorter. “We like that, I guess. It means were successful right now, but we try to be humble with it.”
The Bulldogs finished the year with another great regular season record (20-7). They’ve earned the number one seed in the district tournament. Now, it’s time to make it count.
“I’m really excited,” Lawson says. “We’re really hoping to do some big things in the postseason. We’re hoping to keep building upon what we did in the regular season.”
“Teams like Nixa and Ozark have pushed us to work harder and have showed us what a really good team is,” says sophomore Kylie Scott. “Playing them has shown us what we’re going to be up against once we start playing some really hard teams.”
“I think we can score in multiple ways and we have two or three really good scorers,” Shorter says. “We have really been rebounding really well lately and I think other teams are going to look at that and think that they need to get us off the boards. A lot of that’s due to Kylie Scott and Anna Burch. They’ve done a tremendous job.”
The post season is full of pressure, but the Bulldogs have experience.
“You can’t say enough about experience,” Shorter says. “Our kids have been in the postseason and been in what we call possession basketball and that has really benefited our team. They understand that when the crowd gets loud and the situation feels like it could be unbearable, they’re able to relax and take a deep breath and know that we’re prepared and we can do this.”
Carl junction opens the district playoffs on Saturday against Hillcrest. The game is scheduled for 10 am at Willard High School.
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