Stringer plays a lot of youth and first-year head coach Trista Whitman saw her young Devils get a much-needed win against the Pirates. Mt. Olive had multiple chances to win at the end, but Stringer held and weathered a late rally to get the victory.
Whitman had this to say when asked about her feelings on the win, "It was fun. It was fun to finally get psyched up for a district game. We had a tough loss to Magee last week after playing pretty well. Going into this game tonight, we wanted to carry some of that energy and momentum to the games that matter. Parts of it looked great. Parts of it you could tell we have a young team with a lot to learn."
Freshman Hannah Grace Buckley led all scoring in the game with 17 points for Stinger. Another sophomore stepped up to claim more playing time for Whitman's system. At 6' tall Cara Robertson scored eight points and dominated with rebounds and blocked shots.
"That’s what is so exciting about young players. You can see everything click and come together. A light comes on and that spark ignites. She (Robertson) was great tonight. She blocks out, rebounds, and hustles. And now she is getting confidence in her shot. It’s very encouraging as her coach." said Whitman.
Mt. Olive had two scorers in double digits. McDuffie and Lindsay scored 13 and 12 points respectively.
The Red Devils have a busy week with three games, and Whitman has a clear message about her priorities saying, "We are focused on Thursday against Sebastopol. We want to put ourselves in a position to win that game."
A win over Sebastopol could do wonders for the Stringer program, but it will be hard to keep kids from looking ahead to Sylva-Bay. "It’s huge. I wasn’t raised in Jasper county, but the rivalry is fun. I love a great atmosphere where it’s personal and the fans are into it. I look forward to having a longstanding relationship with Sylva-Bay where we can get after each other every year and compete," said Whitman.
As much as everyone loves a healthy rivalry, games like this serve a bigger purpose. "Saturday, I’m just excited to play against great competition. The more we learn and compete against great teams the better off we will be in February. That’s the end game," commented Whitman.