The first-year West Georgia Tech women’s basketball coach leads the Golden Knights into tonight’s regular-season conference finale against Georgia Northwestern Tech at 6:30 in LaGrange with a shot at earning a share of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association/Region 17 crown.
Georgia Northwestern (11-9, 4-0) handed WGTC its lone league loss — an 82-78 decision in Rome on Jan. 15 — and Edwards said a win this evening not only gives the Golden Knights (10-14, 4-1) a share of the regular-season title, but also keeps that positive momentum building toward the conference tournament.
“I think it would be good for our team to get the win going into the conference tournament. I mean, that would be great. Yeah, getting the regular-season conference, that would tie us for first if we win that game. But more than that, I think it would be good for our kids’ confidence going into the conference tournament the following weekend, first and foremost,” Edwards said. “We want to end the regular season the right way. It’s all about who you face up in the tournament. It’d be great to get that confidence win going in.”
Golden Knight sophomore guard Sha’Ron Forte was honored as the GCAA/Region 17 Player of the Week on Tuesday after averaging 18.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 3.0 assists per game last week. Forte is averaging 12.8 points per game, which is second on the team behind Sharika Pennamon, who is posting 14.3 points and 5.4 rebounds, to go along with a team-best 77 steals and 96 assists.
West Georgia Tech was riding a five-game winning streak entering Thursday evening’s tilt with nationally-ranked Gadsden State, and Edwards said his team will have to dig deep and find some energy to play two tough ball games in a 24-hour stretch.
But the WGTC coach is confident in his squad, especially with the way it’s been defending in recent weeks.
“Right now we’re playing pretty good defensively, which is where we hang our hat,” Edwards said. “Our girls are really rotating well and really trying to improve on the defensive side, which has been our focus the last two to three weeks.”
And with the most important part of the season on the horizon, Edwards is hopeful of entering the postseason as a co-region champion following Friday night’s battle in LaGrange.
“I’ve said it all season long and I really believe our best basketball lies ahead of us. I think we’re starting to play better as a team. We’re starting to find our stride offensively. I feel good about the team. I think they’re poised to make a run if they can play together and play on the defensive end, which is what we do. If we win, it’s going to be on the defensive side of the ball. We’ve got to play defense for 40 minutes and 94 feet, and that’s been our motto all season long,” Edwards said.