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story.lead_photo.caption MARK HUMPHREY ENTERPRISE-LEADER Prairie Grove senior Larisha Crawford is a reliable ball-handler and shooter, who rotates among six players seeing the bulk of playing time for the Lady Tiger girls basketball team.

PRAIRIE GROVE -- Last season Larisha Crawford frequently passed up shots coach Kevin Froud would have preferred she take

This season the veteran Prairie Grove coach implemented a specific strategy to address the issue.

"She's got the Larisha Crawford rule, if she passes up a shot that I think you should have took you'll be paying for it the next day in practice cause I want her shooting it any time she's open," Froud said, adding, "That's like with any of them. If it's a good shot, and we practice it I don't care if we shoot it."

Froud wants to motivate Crawford to put the ball in the hoop, and she is responding to his confidence in her as a shooter.

"Yeah it does (motivate me), especially since last year; it's like now I realize the shots that I missed and should have taken; and now I see them," Crawford said. "For some reason I didn't last year, and it really helps cause he's encouraged me in practice, now even in games, but it really helps me a lot."

Joy Of Basketball

Crawford's quick smile lights up the arena when asked to describe the joy of playing basketball at Prairie Grove.

"Yes, I do (like basketball) and I always have," Crawford said. "I really wouldn't want to play anywhere else. This is my home and I think it's the same for everybody else, too. And it's not just because it's a Prairie Grove thing, I love the people, I love the coaches, I love the family, and the people, who come out and support us. It's just a great environment altogether."

Lady Tiger Legacy

With promotion, Crawford and classmate Emily Grant weren't looked down on as freshmen coming up from junior high during the 2015-2016 season in which Prairie Grove finished 25-6 and 13-1 in league play. They found themselves pleasantly welcomed by senior Taylor Hartin, a prolific shooter, who along with her twin, Mattie, were vital cogs of a Regional champion.

"Whenever we were moving up to play for varsity, it was Taylor Hartin and all them, they were really nice," Crawford said. "They accepted us into their group and they talked to us. They didn't mistreat us or anything, it was just like really nice to see them and when we got to watch them play at state it was just really nice."

Team Goals

Prairie Grove hasn't returned to the big dance since, something both Crawford and Grant want to change.

"To go to state, that's what we all would want, I would hope so, at least," Crawford said. "That's what I want, for sure; and I really want to win as much as possible."

Grant is in full agreement.

"I say get the state streak going, bring it back to Prairie Grove," Grant said. "I know we all grew up watching the girls ride off on the bus and waving goodbye as they went to state; and I think we all, like in our childhood, we all want to be on that bus and going to state. We want to make it though districts, have a good, winning season; and grow as a team together, win a game at Regionals and find a way to make it back to state."

Sports on 12/05/2018

Print Headline: These Lady Tigers Are Game For Basketball

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