Knowing how much it hurt losing the final game of the West Georgia Holiday Classic — a two-point loss with a shot made in the final two seconds — that made Saturday night's win all the more sweeter.
"A lot better. I told them I don't want that feeling anymore. That one hurt. I tried to get over it that night knowing Christmas was coming up, but I wore it for a few days. It was a tough one. This one, I'm going to wear it for a few days now. That was big," Bremen coach Kathy Matthews said.
With the offense not exactly firing on all cylinders, it was the consistent defense Matthews preached that helped get the job done.
"At least we came out with a win — that's the big thing. We didn't shoot the ball well, but if we're going to have nights like that, we have to play defense and be able to defend and not allow the other team to score more than we do, and that's what we did," Matthews said. "That's when the important part comes in — the defense."
On the night, the Lady Blue Devils (10-3) went 0-for-15 from the 3-point line and had to work the ball underneath, as well as get things going at the free-throw line, where they were 15-of-22.
Tournament MVP Jordan Hill led the Lady Blue Devils with 14 points, eight assists and five rebounds, while all-tournament team member Kayleigh Medlin added a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double effort to go along with three blocks.
"They did real well [Saturday]. Of course, Jordan stepped up. Even though she was struggling from the 3-point line, she didn't let it stop her. She tried to get some closer in shots and then had some nice assists to Kayleigh Medlin to get some shots for us. [They] had a very good tournament. Hopefully, we can keep it going," Matthews said.
Bremen only trailed at one point during the game, down 16-14 with a minute left in the half, before going on a 5-0 run to close out the first 16 minutes and take a 19-16 lead into the halftime break.
Then in the second half, the Lady Blue Devils started hot, going on a 7-1 run in the opening six and a half minutes of the third to increase their lead to six points after three quarters. The fourth quarter was just too much Hill and Medlin, as the MVP had four assists and Medlin had five points in the final eight minutes.
Along with Medlin and Hill's big nights, Kayla Chapman and Kalia Johnson had six points apiece.
For the Lady Spartans (5-7), it was Natasha Banks leading the way with 11 points, while all-tournament performers Katie Amritt and Jacklyn Matthews added five and four points, respectively.
Up next will be the first games of Region 5-AA play for Bremen, which will open up on Friday at Bowdon.
"This should jump start our season going into region play after this break. We've got a big one coming up against Bowdon, and that's always a big rivalry. Plus it's a sub-region game, as well. We've got two days of practice and we'll be ready," Matthews said.
And it being the first Class AA region game ever for the Lady Blue Devils, having it be against a traditional region foe and area rival just helps build up the intensity.
"It makes it that much more competitive. You want to win it that much more. They probably feel the same way about us. It's a great rivalry. Some of the girls on the teams are friends and that's the way you want it to be — friends off the court and then once you step on the court, you're going to battle to see who wins," Matthews said.