Five takeaways as Lady Bulldogs prep for regionals

Head coach Nathan Seal still had a little tinkering to do with his team as the Lady Bulldogs finished up the regular season and prepared for regionals. But Mahomet-Seymour's head honcho has reiterated all year long that his group's toughness and tenacity will give them a chance each and every night.

Clinton won't be a cakewalk in the opening round at 6 p.m. Monday, but it's a game M-S will have a great chance to win.

Then, the Lady Bulldogs will hope for some postseason magic if they advance to take on No. 1 seed Charleston.

Let's take a look at five keys for Mahomet-Seymour if they want to win a regional championship next week.

 

No. 1: Commit to controlling the glass

The Bulldogs were steamrolled by Danville on Monday because of their inability to limit the Vikings to one shot per trip. Danville repeatedly corralled loose balls and offensive rebounds and turned them into easy buckets.

Senior Lakeida Nichols has been a monster on the boards all season long, but she needs some help. Freshman Nichole Taylor has come off the bench and provided a big presence on the interior, but Taylor has to stay consistent if Seal can justify keeping her on the floor.

Seniors Abby Kyle and Kailyn Northrup are above-average rebounders who can be involved every night. If the Lady Bulldogs want their season to continue, they have to emphasize rebounding.

 

No. 2: Makayla Rosenbery can be difference-maker

You never want to put a ton of pressure on anybody, but it's a fair statement to say that when Makayla Rosenbery plays well, M-S often wins. Rosenbery scored a combined 32 points in close wins over Lincoln and Mattoon. She only managed nine points in the loss to Danville.

When Rosenbery is clicking, she just makes the Lady Bulldogs so much more dangerous. She adds a much-needed deadly outside stroke. Plus she's so long and athletic that it makes her such an impactful defensive player.

If M-S wants to make a run past Clinton and Charleston and into the regional championship game, the Bulldogs will need big-time performances from Rosenbery.

 

No. 3: Kailyn Northrup stays hot

Sometimes, numbers lie. Northrup's line against Danville is a great example. The senior shot just 1-for-13 from the field and finished with five points. But the veteran guard had multiple three-pointers that rattled in and out that would've easily changed her final line to something much more respectable.

Northrup has been rock-solid all season long as M-S' No. 1 scoring option. That shouldn't change in regional play. Northrup torched Mattoon for 19 points and eight rebounds. That type of effort on the glass was remarkable, and Northrup's knack for scoring will be a huge boon in postseason play.

 

No. 4: Find one more piece

Maddy Wade, Lakeida Nichols, Kailyn Northrup and Makayla Rosenbery are four proven scorers who can lead the team each and every night, but Seal can't just have four offensive options. He needs another two or three bench options to step up if M-S wants to make a run. Senior Abby Kyle is certainly capable. Kyle provides all-out hustle and determination on the floor, plus her jumper is solid.

Ashley Wheeler and Nichole Taylor have both had their moments off the bench when they add plenty of offensive firepower. Seal is still looking for it all to click. What better time to start than regionals?

 

No. 5: Keep Lakeida Nicholsout of foul trouble

The Lady Bulldogs are so much better when Nichols can stay on the floor. She's an outstanding defender and the team's leading rebounder. She impacts the game without scoring a boatload of points.

Sure, Seal has called on his senior guard/forward to get him some buckets this season and she's obliged, but there are moments when Nichols can be the best facilitator on the floor for M-S.

Nichols is a nightmare to guard in the open court, and she's at her best in transition.

But she can only get in transition if she stays out of foul trouble. If Nichols can't stay on the floor, M-S' season will come to an untimely end.

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