HomeSportsLady Hawks have stayed competitive despite doubters

Lady Hawks have stayed competitive despite doubters

By Brandon Shields

Managing editor

It was 51 weeks ago when a lot of us were in Murfreesboro a year ago watching South Side girls’ basketball make history.

The Lady Hawks won all 34 of their games en route to their first-ever state basketball championship.

The feeling on the sidelines at the Murphy Center then were those that were familiar with the program was that last year was a “now or never” type of situation for South Side.

The program had been so close to a state championship so many years and had appeared poised at times to claim the top prize in the state, only to be bested by another team either in the state quarterfinals or the state championship.

But last year was their year if they played like it.

Other state powers didn’t have the firepower to match the Lady Hawks.

It was almost as if head coach Brent McNeal and assistant coach Adrian Comer had been building the program for 2023.

And of course, after they won, the feeling among “experts” of girls’ basketball in West Tennessee who live in Middle Tennessee was that South Side will eventually make it back to Murfreesboro, but it probably wouldn’t happen in 2024.

Well for everyone in the media who had those assumptions back then, apparently no one thought to relay that information to McNeal, Comer, Kimora Currie, Jaidynn Askins or anyone else in the program.

Now granted, as I write this on Tuesday night, there’s still a lot that can happen, and South Side hasn’t made it back to the Class 3A state tournament yet.

They’re playing Chester County in the Region 6-3A championship in less than 24 hours, and then depending on the result of that game, they’re playing Saturday night either at home or in Middle Tennessee in the Class 3A sectionals. 

The winner of that game goes to Murfreesboro. From that point on, South Side is done if it loses.

But South Side is in the TSSAA’s version of the Sweet 16, a game away from where many of the so-called experts thought the Lady Hawks couldn’t get to now.

And to be honest, early on this season, I wasn’t so sure about them either.

With the large freshman class the team has this season, plus a couple of newcomers in older grades, we knew South Side would eventually be good. But winning region championships and getting to Murfreesboro? They weren’t looking like such a team before Thanksgiving.

That’s a testament to the coaching and development by McNeal and Comer and the players’ commitment to the team and to getting better.

The Lady Hawks have set a high standard for themselves as a program.

A year ago, they actually surpassed that standard (they had no plans or goals of going undefeated) and probably even raised it a little. 

Would a potential loss this weekend to end the season before the state tournament – or even a pair of losses depending on how this game with Chester County goes – mean South Side didn’t live up to that standard? Possibly.

But that’s the good thing about setting a high standard for yourself. If you fall short, you might still be better than most, and that’s what South Side has proven for this year at least already with more to potentially prove by the end of next week.

Brandon Shields is the managing editor of The Jackson Post. Contact him at Follow him on Twitter @JSEditorBrandon or Instagram @Editorbrandon.

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