The time is now for the Oak Mountain Academy girls' basketball team.
Fueled by a veteran lineup, the Lady Warriors are chugging full-steam ahead for a run at a region title and deep postseason push as it opens the second half of the season this evening at 6 with a road trip to foe St. George's.
"We're loaded with juniors and seniors. We've been on this road for a couple of years and they know what I expect. We're shooting for big things. We want to win a region championship and try to advance in the state playoffs and all that good stuff," noted OMA head coach Terrell Barkley.
The Lady Warriors are led by seniors Lilly Parmer and Josie Francis, while junior forward Christian Pollard provides a potent presence in the post as the team's No. 1 scoring and rebounding option.
And while Pollard garners the most attention from opposing defenses, Barkley said his ballclub goes as Parmer goes.
"We talked the other day and I always tell her that she's the captain of the ship. Then I was like, 'What am I?' And she said, 'You're the dictator that always sends us out to battle.' But whatever I need, she gives it to me," Barkley said. "Then we've got Christian Pollard, and she's a good post player. Without her, I don't know where we'd be. We've got two seniors who lead by example every day and just do the things that I ask.
"Lilly just gets us where we need to be, gets us in the right sets offensively and defensively she gets us where we need to be. She's just a coach on the floor. Christian is our go-to player. We get her the ball as much as we can get it to her. She's a double-double just about every night. She's a good player. We're going to try to feed her and if people double-team we're going to kick it out and score in other ways."
With Flint River and Notre Dame Academy marking the top competition in the region, Barkley said it's a matter of his squad remaining consistent and hard-nosed down the stretch run of the season, adding that winning on the road in tough environments will be key to making a deep playoff run.
The state quarterfinal hurdle has been the obstacle in recent years for the Lady Warriors, and Barkley feels this is the group that is poised to clear it this winter.
"We've been to the elite eight the last few years and we're trying to bust through. We want to bust through to the final four. It's still a long way away, but that's what we're trying to build up to," Barkley said.