Area Playoffs: Menke and Davison ready for area playoffs
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Feb. 16, 2006 - Tim Menke and Garry Davison were both relieved to have survived close first-round playoff match-ups earlier this week, but neither has time to rest.

Menke, head coach of the North Hopkins Lady Panthers, and Davison, head coach for the Saltillo Lady Lions, both have stiff competition in line on Friday when they head to the area round of the Class A playoffs.

Saltillo-Henrietta Midway

The Lady Lions (23-6) will travel to Little Elm to take on Henrietta Midway at 7 p.m. Friday, and Davison knows his girls are short on experience and size against Midway.

"They've got two pretty good post players, both of them are about 5-10, and they're going to do most of their team's scoring," Davison said. "They've got four seniors on the team, and they went to the regional semifinals last year."

By comparison, Saltillo will start one junior (Chloe Roberts), two sophomores (Winter Stevens, Jessica Gilbreath) and two freshmen (Cara Geerts, Emily White). None of them are over 5-8.

But, Davison hopes Tuesday's 47-45 bi-district victory over Dodd City will give the Lady Lions, ranked No. 17 in the state, confidence they can advance.

"I'm glad we're getting another game," he said. "I think the girls were a little nervous on Tuesday, and they played like it at first. Having a game under their belts, hopefully we'll play a lot better."

To beat Midway, Davison said the Lady Lions will need to keep pressure on the perimeter to make it hard for the guards to get the ball inside, then they will have to have some backside defensive help when Midway lobs the ball to the post.

He believes Saltillo can have success against Midway's man-to-man defense.

"We like to play teams that play man," Davison said.

Directions to Little Elm High School - From Greenville, take U.S. Highway 380 west through McKinney. Stay on 380 until you come to FM 423. Take a left and go into Little Elm. Then, take a right on Walker Lane. The school is on Walker Lane.

North Hopkins-Lindsay

The area round has been a stumbling block for North Hopkins in recent years, and the No. 19 Lady Panthers (21-10) face another tall order in No. 7 Lindsay (26-2).

Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. Friday in Farmersville.

Lindsay has two good post players, a sophomore guard (Chelsea Hermes) who was the state cross country champion, and a senior point guard (Mallory Block) who is a good 3-point shooter.

They run the Buna offense, which is a high-low set that features a screen and roll at the high post and lobs into the post.

"We've got to keep the point guard in front of us and do some things in the low post so we won't be so susceptible to the lob," Menke said. "Then, we've got to hope they're not hitting their outside shot because that may be what we have to give up to keep from getting hurt in the post."

He anticipates facing full court man-to-man pressure or a 1-2-2 half court trap.

"The way to get them out of that is to blow by them and get a lay-up," Menke explained. "We're going to have to beat their pressure or we'll be in trouble."

The Lady Panthers will counter with All-State senior center Katy Williams, guards Ebbonye Johnson, Nancy Castro and Jessi Mannis, and forwards Sabra Thomas and Elizabeth McPherson.

Directions to Farmersville High School - From Greenville, take U.S. Highway 380 west. Once in Farmersville, take the State Highway 78 exit and go north. The school is on SH 78.

North Hopkins boys

The Panthers (21-8) will take on Roxton at 7 p.m. tonight in Birthright in a warm-up game for their bi-district match-up next week.

On Monday, North Hopkins will travel to Mount Pleasant to take on Avery in the first round of the playoffs. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

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