Springwood ends season in loss to Macon-East in AISA semifinal

Published 10:40 pm Thursday, February 9, 2023

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The Springwood varsity boys made the AISA semifinals for the first time under head coach Lisa Sampson, but the Wildcats fell to Macon-East 53-26 in Montgomery on Thursday.

Springwood stayed with the Knights in the first half but only scored five points in the second half as the Wildcats couldn’t execute on offense.

Senior Eli Westbrook led the team in scoring with 10 points.

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“We started out the first quarter executing offensively, and we played about as well as we could play,” Sampson said.

“We slipped a little in the second quarter. We weren’t really executing. I don’t know why we couldn’t score the ball. It’s a tough way for our seniors to end it, but I couldn’t be more proud of the leaders they were the whole year.”

Sampson thinks the players were a little nervous in the semifinal.

“Any time you play a on a big stage, you have to be concerned about if the moment is too big,” Sampson said.

“We have to learn to play through adversity. A lot of them are young. They’ll learn. Hopefully, we’ll be back next year.”

Sampson wants her seniors to know that they will set an example for the younger guys.

“They laid the foundation for us,” Sampson said.

“They started something special, and we have to build on that. Now you’ve been there. Let’s see if next year we can do more than just be there and get to the championship game.”

Sampson wants her returning players to prepare over the summer.

“We’ll come back in June and get in the gym,” Sampson said.

“We’ll go to team camps and put in the work for next year. We’ll have a strength program in July. This team put in the work in the offseason. Hopefully, we’ll get some players in with the two public schools merging. It’s just going to continue to grow.”

Sampson feels like she’s learned a lot this season as well.

“As a coach, you’re always looking to grow,” Sampson said.

“You’re always going to change stuff up. It has to change every year. We’ll figure that out in June. We have to develop these players to be the best they can be. I’m very optimistic for the future.”

The Wildcats’ season is over, but Eli Westbrook will compete in the AISA All-Star game on Monday in Montgomery.