Sometimes Forsyth Central first-year coach Angela Hurt sees a different team than the one she studied on film when she was hired last April.
There they were, taking a six-point lead in the fourth quarter.
But sometimes, the Lady Bulldogs resemble the team Hurt inherited that won just eight games last season.
There they were, with costly turnovers and missed free throws down the stretch of a 42-37 loss Friday to Kell at home in a Region 7-AAAAA, Div. A game.
"Sometimes we take a step forward, and then we take a step back," Hurt said. "It’s that constant battle with consistency."
It was the new Central (5-11, 2-5) for three-and-a-half quarters Friday, and a little good fortune helped. Early in the fourth quarter with Kell (6-9, 3-2) in the bonus, Central’s Anna-Nicole Moore and Kell’s Judea Johnson got tangled on a rebound. Johnson was called for a foul. Then she was called for a technical foul.
Moore made four straight free throws to give the Lady Bulldogs a 33-27 lead with 5:56 left in the game.
Then old Central resurfaced. Kell promptly went on an 8-0 run to retake the lead 35-33. Nine of the Lady Bulldogs’ 24 turnovers came in the fourth quarter, and Central went just 2 of 6 from the free throw line during that span.
Central tied the game, 37-37, with 1:23 left, but couldn’t mount a comeback.
"I think we made some key mental mistakes," Hurt said, "and then we just didn’t hit the shots that we needed to, like open shots."
Emma Kane led the Lady Bulldogs with 16 points to go along with 15 rebounds. Kayla Bennett added eight points, and Julie Richards and Moore each had six points and seven rebounds.
Santavia Grant led Kell with 15 points.
The loss marked the start of a four-game stretch on the road for Central, beginning at South Forsyth on Saturday, a game that ended too late for this edition. Then the Lady Bulldogs play at Sequoyah, Riverwood and North Springs.
As Central got set for hostile environments away from the comfort of home court, Friday’s loss provided insight – more new Central is needed down the stretch of games.
"Whenever we’re consistent, any of those games we can be in," Hurt said. "... I feel like it just depends on what team shows up."