The Banks County Lady Leopards suffered a bad home loss last Friday at the hands of Hart County.
The Lady Bulldogs' 53-28 rout was what head coach Steven Shedd called a "really slow day" by his group.
"I've got to give Hart County a lot of credit," he said. "They're a really, really good team. They're really athletic. I think we match up okay with them.
It was a very disappointing thing. We just didn't come out ready to play."
The Lady Leopards, however, were without starter Allison Smith. She's expected to be out three weeks due to an injury, Shedd said.
The Lady Leopards proved they had a short memory of the loss and got back on track with a 48-38 win over the Madison County Lady Red Raiders last Saturday.
Shedd said offensively the game had been like every game this season, slow at the start. Defensively, he said was "Okay." But, an adjustment at halftime defensively made "all the difference in the world."
"We were able to use our defense, which kind of became our offense," he explained. "That was the big key for us was that our offense was slow and our defense became our offense. Once that happened, we went on a little run. Once we got control of the game, I felt like our offense started to come around, because we were able to pull them (Madison County) out into a different defense."
He said once his team made Madison County go into a man-to-man defense, he thought it gave his team an advantage.
The Lady Leopards (3-2) were led by Jaycie Bowen, who scored 24 points for the second time this season. Twelve of Bowen's 24 points came in the fourth quarter.
"Jaycie's been solid all season long," Shedd said. "There hasn't been a game where Jaycie hasn't stepped up. We just feel like when Jayce gets a one-on-one underneath the basket, she's got to have the ball. When she gets the ball, she gets to decide what she wants to do with it. If she wants to pass it back out and readjust and post back up, then she gets to do that. If she wants to try and take a girl to the basket, that's what she gets to do."
Gabby Kennedy scored nine points, seven of them in the first half.
Taylor Parson and Kulia Beasley added five points apiece.
"The way all the other girls stepped up and controlled the offense and stayed calm when it was time to stay calm and speed it up when it was time to speed up, I think, just made a big difference," Shedd said. "I'm just glad the way we bounced back. We didn't come in and fold over."
The Lady Leopards had lost two straight before last Saturday's win, both against Hart County.
"We knew going in this was going to be a tough non-region schedule," Shedd said. " We're looking to play these teams and we feel like we're going to be much better when we get to the region."
The Lady Leopards open region play this Friday when they host Monticello.
"We feel like we're going to be a battle-tested team by the time we get there," he continued. "I'm just really happy with how we bounced back against a really good team. Madison County's a very good team."
With Smith's absence, Shedd believes it will be a "great opportunity" for other players to get experience and gain "confidence," so when Smith returns they will be "even better."
"We're hoping we can get her back 100 percent, and everybody else is going to be improved by that time because of their experience they're going to have between now and then," Shedd said.
The Lady Leopards led by only two at halftime, 22-20, but a 10-point third quarter and stellar defense bumped the lead to six going into the fourth quarter, 32-26.
Bowen, Kennedy, Parson and Beasley all made baskets in the third quarter.
Bowen scored the opening eight points for the Lady Leopards to start the final quarter, helping build a 40-32 lead.
After the lead was trimmed to four points, Parson connected on a 3-pointer to bump the lead back to seven points, 43-36.
The Lady Leopards outscored the Lady Red Raiders 8-2 to close the game out. Bowen scored the team's final four points.