Lady Lions Prepare for State

By: 
Staff Writer Josh Lewis

Macie Tomlinson has to hold Leah Miller back from running on the floor during the excitement of the game. 

It’s been a whirlwind week for the Lady Lions as they prepare to play for a state championship, and the week is just getting started. Salem will play North Wood in the first game of the second session on Saturday at 6 p.m., for the 3A state championship.

Upon learning who they were playing, Salem knew nothing about them, but immediately went to gathering film and seeing what they could find out about their opponent.

Salem Head Coach Jerry Hickey said, “They are a big and physical team. They will be a tough matchup for us. They have a ton of length. Apart from Lettie, they will be bigger than us at every position.

“Our speed and quickness might helps us with that, and I like the way our zone works. But we’ve not seen two post players like what they have. They are a really good team.”

Hickey has been running all over the state and has also faced countless interviews. Television stations WDRB and WLKY both stopped by practice on Tuesday night. Hickey said it’s been hectic, but fun.

“It’s been crazy,” he said. “We have two TV stations coming by practice. I was in Indy all day Monday, then on Wednesday we are practicing in Indy. Friday we have the pep rally and then we are off to Indianapolis again. It’s been good.

“It’s been nice to get all the coverage and it’s special for the girls. We want to have fun with it, but at the same time, we have a game to win. We are still trying to win this last game.”

Preparing for the biggest game of his career this weekend, Hickey said he’s not nervous, yet.

"Our kids have shown up time and time again," he said. "We just need them to do it one more time. We’ve been coming to grips with the finality of it.

“No matter whether we win or lose this is the last game of the season. We are excited. We have done everything we can to keep playing this long."

Salem High School started selling tickets to the state championship game on Wednesday. To buy tickets at the school, school officials are asking fans to wait until after 8:30 a.m., so buses can finish dropping off students. The last chance to buy tickets at Salem will be at the boys’ basketball game on Thursday night, starting at 5:30 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door at Bankers Life Field House, also.

Tickets are $15, whether bought at Salem or Indianapolis. Salem will play in the first game of the second session at 6 p.m. Doors will open at 5 p.m. Following the Salem game, the 4A state championship game will be played.

On Friday, Feb. 28, the Lady Lions will be traveling to Indianapolis to vie for the 3A State Championship. The day will start with a school-wide a pep rally at 9:50 a.m. At approximately 11 a.m., the Lady Lions and their entourage will leave the school and travel up by Cheddar Depot, turn and continue down North Main Street, go around the square and then head out on Highway 56 towards Scottsburg. The community is encouraged to come out and show their support along the route.

The team has said that the community’s continued support helps fuel them so let’s send them off with a full tank.

On Saturday before the game, fans are also encouraged to gather at the Pivot Bar and Grill, inside the Hyatt Place, 130 S. Pennsylvania Avenue in Indianapolis from 3 to 5 p.m. for a pre-game pep rally.

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