When the bright lights of the Touchstone Energy All “A” Classic State Basketball Tournament are turned on Wednesday morning at the Frankfort Convention Center, the Glasgow Lady Scotties (14-6) will be ready to go.
Glasgow, which knocked off Cumberland County last week to win the Region 4 title, will play Louisville Holy Cross (10-7) in the first game of the tournament at 7:30 a.m. CST.
The Lady Scotties will also be ready to go because they’ve been there before. The pressure atmosphere of a win-or-go-home tournament is nothing new to the Lady Scotties.
“One of the reasons why we put such a difficult regular season schedule together is you want to be battle tested when you come into a tournament. You don’t want to come into a tournament 19-1 and not have played any tough competition,” said Glasgow coach Justin Stinson.
“We’ve played five games against teams in the top 10 in the state this year, two against Allen County-Scottsville, and one game each against East Carter, Sacred Heart and Newport Central Catholic. And we’ve played other very good teams too, but I don’t think our record is indicative of the type of basketball team we are. There may be some teams with better records at the All “A” tournament, but I think we have a chance to go up there and make some noise.”
Stinson is not taking anything for granted, though. After looking over the tournament bracket, the Glasgow coach knows going deep in this competition will take a lot of work.
“There are some really good teams in the tournament and some of the best teams in the state happen to be Class A teams,” Stinson explained.
“When you look at the whole 16-team field, the first thing that jumps out at me is how many teams there are from private schools. You have to think the favorites in the tournament are privates schools, teams like University Heights, Newport Central Catholic, Owensboro Catholic and even Bishop Brossart. It is certainly a really talented field from top to bottom.
“But the thing you have to remember about tournament play is you’re not as familiar with your opponent. You’re level of preparation is less because you play one day and have to turn around and play the next day. Therefore, you have to have a strong focus on what you do well.
“And that’s how we try to prepare on a daily basis. And I think what bodes well for us in this tournament is we do a good job of focusing on us and playing to our strengths.”
If Glasgow beats Louisville Holy Cross in the opener, the Lady Scotties would then face either University Heights (16-1) or Harlan (13-6). But don’t ask Stinson about anything other than Glasgow’s first game. For the Lady Scotties, it is, literally, one game at a time.
“It always comes down to one game at a time. It comes down to one possession at a time and even one play at a time. And the further you go in a tournament, that matters even more,” Stinson said. “And I think when you get in those situations where the game is on the line, the team that makes plays is going to win. It is not about stopping someone else. Fortunately for us, I think we have kids that are good basketball players and they can make some plays for us when we need them.”