The Pike Central Lady Hawks is a team a lot of media outlets has overlooked this season, I think a lot of the reason is the style of basketball they play. Although they don't play like the Golden State Warriors with an up and down pace that wears you down just watching it, Coach Derek Newsome has found a style that gives his girls a chance to win every single game they play. Coach Newsome has lost two of his top players each of the last two seasons to transfer but for some reason the Hawks still are right their in the mix for the top team in the Region year in and year out. A part of the reason the Hawks continue their great success winning 20 games last season and 18 this season is they do have a star PG in Cassidy Mullins running the show but the other reason is the Hawks style of play.
Coach Newsome brings a defensive game plan to the court that allows his girls an opportunity to win every time they step foot on the floor, he is one of them rare coaches they can get his players to buy in on the defensive side of the basketball. The intensity the Hawks bring to the court on defense is something you don't see in today's game, they create turnovers and give themselves 20+ extra offensive positions a game. It is very hard to beat a team when they steal 20 or more of your positions due to turnovers. In 14 of the Hawks 18 victories this season they have held their opponents to under 40 points a game, including some games where the Hawks disruptive defense created 30+ steals in a single game. Pike Central has four starters that all have over 500 steals in their career Bailey Birchfield, Lexi Newsome, Hailey Boyd and the Hawks leader Cassidy Mullins has over 600 career steals.
The Hawks floor general Cassidy Mullins is one of the most impressive players we have here in the Mountains, with over 600 steals and 2,000pts she has proven her self to be one of the Bluegrass's finest. Cassidy is an extremely physical player that can light it up from downtown or get 3pt plays the old fashioned way with going to the rim and finishing with contact. Cassidy Mullins is one of the most durable players we have covered, not only is she extremely durable she is very consistent. Coach Newsome never has to guess what Mullins is going to give him on a nightly basis, he knows Mullins will always produce and give him 100%. Mullins is surrounded with nice pieces that are very unselfish and can all step up and lead the team in scoring if ask too.
Lexi Newsome, Bailey Birchfield, Hailey Boyd and Kelsi Brinager are all players that have pulled their weight and been named to just about every All-Tournament team in every tournament they have played in this season. Coach Newsome is one of the best coaches I have ever seen at getting the best out of his athletes, he draws every ounce of talent out of a player and can get his girls to buy in to anything he sells. As the District Tournament kicks off on Monday Pike Central will play Piarst in the 1st round, then face the winner of Belfry vs Phelps in the 2nd round. I guarantee when the Region Tournament is drew that every coach in the Region is hoping to avoid the Hawks, even if you got lucky and upset them in 1st round, the Hawks style of play would take so much out of you that a team would be in a huge disadvantage heading into the 2nd round. Pay attention to the Hawks, they are a team that could put a run together and win the entire show.