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Basketball season tips off in Valdosta

Written By: Austin Wells 

The Lady Blazers basketball team plays their first game this Friday against Eckerd, who finished the 2013-2014 season with a record of 11-16.

As part of the Holiday Inn Valdosta Conference Center Challenge, The Lady Blazers will also play the next day against a Fort Valley State team who finished 13-15 last season.

With back to back games looming to start the season, head coach Kiley Hill is focusing on getting his players ready to play.

“Right now our focus is getting ourselves prepared,” Hill said. “We’re making sure that everybody’s on the same page. That’s our main focus on offense, defense and in transition. We’re steadily getting better and better.”

“We have so many new kids,” Hill said, “Discussing the new challenges the young team will have to face. We haven’t played Eckerd or Fort Valley State. We played some exhibition games but you just never know what you’re going to get from them, just like they don’t know what they’re going to get from us. All we’re doing is trying to prepare based on what has happened in the past and be ready to go play.”

Hill also discussed the aspect of having to play back to back games and the impact it has on the team.

“With back to back games we try to get a lot of preparation in, not only from a mental standpoint but a physical standpoint as well,” Hill said. “Leading up to this week we’ve started tapering back our workload. We’ve got to have high energy playing back to back games first thing out of the gate.”

The Lady Blazers will play Fort Valley State again on the road this Tuesday, and Hill sees this as a good thing for his young squad.

“I think you have a little better of an idea of what they’re going to do right out of the gate,” Hill explained. “You see what kind of adjustments they make against you and what adjustments you make against them. For us right now it’s probably a good thing to play someone back to back instead of having to prepare for someone new in a less amount of time, especially for our younger players. Familiarity is a good thing.”

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