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Ford, Ladycats need a win to create some momentum

By Nathan Hague
Jan. 12, 2018 at 4 a.m.

Hallsville's Maddison Ford goes for a layup. The Ladycats seek their first district win of the season tonight against rival Marshall.

When the Hallsville and Marshall girls basketball teams go head-to-head tonight in a county and district rivalry matchup, the Ladycats will try to earn their first district win of the season.

"We are right there," Hallsville first-year head coach Holly Long said. "We just need a win or two to get us over the hump. We are right there. We just need that confidence. Once we get that win under our belt and get that confidence, I think we're going to roll with it."

Long added in order for the Ladycats to earn that road victory tonight, they're going to have to bring a lot of energy from beginning to end.

"I feel like our chemistry is where it needs to be but we've got to get our focus before the game starts and make sure we're ready to go and compete from the tip," Long added. "We're a program that can't afford to come out half speed. We've got to come out and play hard for 32 in the things that we do and focus on us right now."

The coach and her Ladycats will look to junior Maddison Ford to try to help lead the team to a victory.

"Honestly, she shows up to practice every day," Long said of Ford. "She's probably one of our hardest workers. She was newcomer of the year last year so she brings the experience back. She is my most skilled player right now but with that she is very humble and she has bought into the team concept. So she's exactly what we need right now on our team to help build our program."

"I'm definitely by example," Ford said. "I mean, I can be vocal. Like during practice, like when I know we need to get focused, sometimes I don't say anything and I regret it later. Sometimes it bugs me to the core and I just scream out a little bit. I think I give people the drive to play and the energy that it takes, and the going hard thing, everybody is buying in at the same."

Ford has played the game since a young age and has many fond memories on the hardwood.

"One from city league, one of the games that we had, I was actually one-on-one against Amber Tower, she's on our team now, and I think I was on defense and Amber was about to shoot and I think I knocked it out and she knocked me down," Ford explained. "We both crawled on the floor as fast as we could and everybody was dying laughing.

"I also remember one time when I did this pretty good jumper, and I did not think it was going to go in," Ford continued. "I remember I was just sitting there staring at the goal and my dad said, 'Act like you've been there before. You've got it, go to the rim, play some defense.' We were sprinting back to play defense. I remember I did not think it was going to go in and it swished and I was just staring at the goal. (It was) my first jumper."

Off the court, Ford plays piano and enjoys playing in her church worship band. On the court, she bonds with her teammates as they try to by in sync with each other.

"I've got good kids," Long said. "They have the right attitude. They have the work ethic that we need. The tenacity that we have and resiliency that we have as a program, if you've seen our record, they haven't quit on me.

"They're bought in for the long haul. There's a lot of character that can be said to that. It's them. It's not me."

The Ladycats earned a pair of non-district wins on the first day of their annual holiday tournament against Arp and New Boston. Ford said she hopes the Ladycats can have that feeling again in district play.

"She said we're basically on the edge and I agree with that," Ford said. "A win would really spark our energy because the first one that we got, we were all just screaming in the locker room," Ford said.

The Hallsville and Marshall varsity game is slated to follow the JV which will start at 5 p.m. at Maverick Gym.

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