INDIAN ROCKS — The loss in last season’s region final to Community School of Naples was less than an hour old and Indian Rocks Christian had already turned its attention forward.
“From the time of that loss, to the start of practice (Oct. 25), to now, we have targeted playing them again at this point of the season,” Golden Eagles coach Phil Farver said Friday.
Indian Rocks Christian got the matchup it wanted. Saturday night, the Golden Eagles will travel to play two-time state finalist Community School of Naples in the Class 2A region final.
Never mind that IRC is in the region final for the third straight season. Pay no attention to the fact the Golden Eagles coasted to lopsided wins in the region quarterfinals and semifinals.
IRC knows tonight’s game is the one that carries extra meaning and can define its season.
The loss to the Seahawks last season was a hard one. The Golden Eagles had the advantage of playing at home, but they had trouble containing CSN guard Michelle Woods, who scored 26 points, including 18 of her team’s 31 points in the first half of a 60-44 win.
Woods, who signed with Miami, is back, and the key for IRC will be whether they can limit her scoring opportunities.
But Farver has not spent the past few days working on some sort of defensive concoction to stop her.
“We’re not going to change anything we do,” Farver said. “They have to worry as much about stopping us as we do about containing them.”
The Golden Eagles have a prolific offense of their own with four players — Rachel Burnett, Jessica Logemann, Kristen Scholl and Tori Trador — who have surpassed the 1,000-point plateau.
About the only thing IRC has done differently is play a tougher schedule to prepare for playoff games such as Saturday’s. The Golden Eagles have played — and beaten — Academy of the Holy Names, Gulf, Orlando First Academy, Plant and St. Petersburg Catholic this season.
“Last year, we had 15 games in a row before the Community School game where a running clock was used,” Farver said. “We didn’t even play much in the third and fourth quarter of those games. That was not helping us get any better. We added a tournament and decided to play better competition, and we’ve done well and came back to win some of those games.”
So far, the girls basketball playoffs have been defined by teams knocking off their biggest nemesis, as evidenced by Clearwater beating Boca Ciega and Lakewood defeating Jefferson in Tuesday’s region semifinals.
Now, IRC has the opportunity to join them.
“We’re a different team than we were last season,” Farver said. “We were young, and we’ve gotten so much better. We’ll see what happens."