By Zack Huffman
The common drawback to any monumentally successful season is losing the many senior players who were likely the team's most prolific contributors.
Losing 12 of 15 players including all five starters can be a debilitating blow making the follow-up rebuilding season all but inevitably rough.
Mundy's Mill decided to get it's struggling out of the way in time for Christmas.
After roughing through a 4-6 season opened, the Lady Tigers stepped on the hardwood at Eagle's Landing Christian for the annual Christmas Hooptacular Tournament and have not looked back since, going nearly undefeated with the exception of two losses against Westlake, once in the regular season and once in the 4-AAAAA region tournament finals.
"I'm extremely proud of the team. When we started expectations weren't very high," said coach Lonnie Farmer. "It didn't start out very well. I thought this would be a teaching and learning year."
It is no secret that Clayton's accreditation woes have taken heavy tolls on the various high school sports rosters in the county.
With six transfers to accompany six more graduates, the Lady Tigers were in rough shape opening the season.
"It should have been a rebuilding year," said coach Lonnie Farmer. "None of the returners had been starters."
According to Farmer one of the biggest difference makers Mundy's Mill's level of success was the fact that last season's junior varsity team enjoyed a second consecutive undefeated season.
"They had the capability to play basketball, they knew how to win, they just had to get used to the speed of the varsity level," he said.
Along with the talented youth, Farmer also believes the Lady Tigers benefited from a positive attitude that came from past success.
Although the Lady Tigers were denied a second consecutive region title, they were successful to get the right to host the first round of the state playoffs tonight at Mundy's Mill.
"We are very humbled and feel very privileged to have earned a home playoff game," said Farmer.
"If we take advantage of the home atmosphere I think it will be the inspiration we need to pull off the win."
Against Camden County, Farmer is expecting a very close game that is likely to come down to the final buzzer.
"They are a very aggressive, hard-working group of girls. They like to put a lot of pressure on you defensively and they rebound really well," he said. "One of our obstacles will be trying to rebound with them, because they do have a lot of height."
In any case, Farmer is counting on the Lady Tigers to stay focused while relying on their winning attitude.
"Once you build a winning tradition it's hard to tell a team that they're not going to win games and be successful," he said. "That helped carry us through the tough times in the beginning."
Mundy's Mill will host the Camden County Lady Wildcats tonight at 7:00 p.m.