With a young squad, Academics Plus Coach Ken Holland knows just playing games is important for his Lady Falcons’ team. They get that opportunity this week with at least four games.

On Monday, Academics Plus traveled to Atkins and lost by 30 points. Last night, they faced Lisa Academy West in a conference matchup and host Wonderview for another conference contest Friday. Thursday, they compete in the Nemo Vista tournament and play the winner of the Clinton-Rural Special game. If the weather is hazardous on Friday, a tentative makeup date has been set for the Wonderview game.

"The girls need to play," Holland said. "The teams are competitive, and it might be tough to win. We need to build and build for next year."

After Atkins covered Academics Plus’ best player, Lisa Goodwin (14 points), the Falcons had trouble. Holland said they played good defense, but offensively, the other girls need to get involved. To help in the process, he took Goodwin out for about four minutes.

"We are a young team with a lot of sophomores and played like it," Holland said. "They have seniors and made lots of layups. We didn’t rebound when we should have. One thing I’m proud of is we did put forth the effort."

Though Academics Plus is 1-7 and 0-3 in conference play, Holland feels like the Lady Falcons could be 4-4. That’s because in three other games they were in the mix and lost in the end. Against KIPP Delta, they led by eight points with two minutes remaining, lost to Abundant Life in overtime and lost to Jacksonville Lighthouse on a last second shot.

Based on knowledge from last year, the Lady Falcons were looking forward to last night’s matchup with Lisa Academy West. It should be one of Academics Plus’ easiest games all year.

"The girls were more pumped up for that game," Holland said. "They knew what to expect and were ready to go with a lot of confidence."