HomeNewsSouth Side’s Collins aims for perfection, helps push team to wins

South Side’s Collins aims for perfection, helps push team to wins

When South Side’s girls’ basketball team took on the team from Hewitt-Trussville from just outside Birmingham, Ala., on Saturday as part of the Hoopfest, it was a chance for the Lady Hawks to see how they fared against a taller team with a couple of NCAA Division I prospects on it.

The Lady Hawks did something early on they haven’t done often this season: Struggled.

At one point, they found themselves down seven points as the Lady Huskies were consistently penetrating South Side’s defense and getting to the basket for easy points.

Things began to turn to South Side’s favor when they changed to a zone defense to cut down on Hewitt-Trussville’s easy shots.

They ended the half on a 21-2 run en route to a 65-44 victory.

In a sequence that didn’t necessarily give South Side the victory but did give the Lady Hawks a comfortable lead going into the half was three consecutive possessions that ended with a 3-point basket by Albany Collins.

The first basket came from the left corner. Then on the next possession, her team found her in the right corner.

Then Collins tried to get closer to the basket or find someone in that direction as time wound down to end the second quarter. She had to throw up a shot from about halfway between the half-court line and the 3-point line that banked in.

“I just got some good looks during that stretch and had some good shots to go in,” Collins said about her run of points. “My teammates got it to me when I was open, and I had time to get a good shot up each time.”

Lady Hawks coach Brent McNeal said Collins is a perfectionist, and it shows in her commitment to be as good as possible every time she’s on the court for a game or practice.

“She’s learned not to think too hard or swell on a mistake after she makes it,” McNeal said. “She’s figured out we need to own up to our mistakes, learn from them and move on, and she does a good job of maintaining that kind of mentality.”

She’s also learned to let the game come to her. During the Hewitt-Trussville game, she admitted the first quarter struggles were frustrating. But she said the success the team had defensively after the switch to a zone helped spark the scoring run that turned things in the Lady Hawks’ favor.

“When we get a stop or two on defense, that’ll make us go harder on offense too, and I think that’s what happened tonight,” Collins said.

South Side came out of the game with an 8-0 record with a couple more games to play before the Christmas break, in which the team will travel to Florida for a tournament.

She’s closing in on 1,000 points for her career, averaging a little better than 17 points per game.

“She does a lot for us and she’s a good leader,” McNeal said. “She’s not the biggest player on the court, but South Side Lady Hawks have a history of girls that aren’t that tall that make a difference on the court.

“She’s carrying on that tradition right now.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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