Freshman guard Mikayla Berry scored 23 points in the teams’ first meeting and averages 8.9 per game.
“She’s a good scorer, very athletic, and we didn’t defend her well in (that) game. We don’t want to let her hurt us again in this game,” McWhorter said.
“They’ve all had double-figure scoring games, and sometimes we’ll have four or five people in double figures. And we’ve got four off the bench we can go to ... and they’ll all do certain things,”¿he said.
Robertson said he has a pretty good idea of how Lincoln would like to defend his team.
“I know they’re going to press us and try to trap us and want to get the game speeded up, which I don’t necessarily have a problem with,” he said.
He said he knows the Aces can’t focus on stopping a single Lincoln player, either.
“(Guard Emily) Fox is an outstanding player, but they’ve got five girls who can all put the ball in the basket. We’ll have to really defend well and rebound the basketball to compete with them,” Robertson said.
Fox is the Patriots’ leading scorer for the second straight year at 17.1 points per game, and she scored her 2,000th career point last week in the regional finals. Forward Sydney Harris (15.9) and center Kourtney Belcher (9.2) have seen their scoring averages rise sharply this year, and guards Ciara Saylor and Rachel Spanger can also score in spots.
Lincoln also has four players averaging at least five rebounds per game: Harris (7.2), Spangler (6.2), Belcher (4.7) and Fox (4.0).
And the Patriots are deeper than they were a year ago.
“I definitely think we have a deeper bench than probably most teams in the state tournament,” McWhorter said. “One of my philosophies is if you dress, then you’re capable of playing. A lot of those players that are over there have seen a lot of time this season, and I think when I call their number or their name, they’ll be ready to go.”