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In his words: Homestead coach talks on sectional title

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For more on prep basketball, follow The News-Sentinel.com crew via Twitter at www.twitter.com/PrepHoops_ns and Jonathan Batuello at www.twitter.com/jcbatuello.

Spartan coach feels team handled Archer pressure well

Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 6:34 am

It wasn't as easy as normal, but Homestead clinched the school's ninth IHSAA Girl's Basketball Sectional title by beating South Side 79-70 at South Side.

The News-Sentinel spoke with Homestead coach Rod Parker following the game:

On playing in a close game and responding to the adversity:

"Well it was, and we knew it would be. Every time we play South Side it's a great basketball game. It always goes 32 minutes. A lot of energy, a lot of momentum swings and I thought we did a pretty good job of weathering those late in the third quarter. (We) made some big plays obviously in the fourth quarter when we needed to and Karissa (McLaughlin) did a great job of knocking down free throws at the end there."

On dealing with the South Side pressure:

"You know what, we expected it. We talked about it, we practiced against it all week preparing for it, and I thought our kids handled it well and made some big plays on both ends of the floor.

"I thought we had some lapses in the third quarter defensively that gave them some really inside looks, got ourselves into foul trouble, but then we bounced back from it a little bit."

On winning the sectional title:

"We talked to our kids that this game here at South Side is a regional type game; this is a big game in our area in this sectional, Last year it went down to the final second, this year it went down to the final minute, and we have to expect it. We're excited to get it, it's a big win for us, and I think it's going to help us going into next week to play a game like this."

On how this game helps Homestead prepare for the rest of the postseason:

"They (South Side) did, they made a nice run (last year), and I think that game prepared them, so we are hoping something like this game helps us prepare. We are excited for next week. These kids have had big goals ever since we lost last year returning all five starters. (We're) sitting at 23-1 now. They've responded to most every challenge we've thrown at them so I know they are going to be very focused next week."

On if the loss to South Side in the sectional final last year motivated them:

"You know, we did, we talked about (that game) a lot before the season. Once the season started we kidn of let that go and stayed focused on our goals this year. The big thing with this team, and they've done a real nice job, we try to live in the present, play one game at a time, and they really have done a good job with that and it has paid off for us."