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Lady Rebels now turn their focus to conference crown

West Lincoln head coach Jaime Honbaier has quite a hectic day today, but she would have it no other way.
Honbaier woke up at 5 a.m. this morning to make a three-hour trek to attend a conference necessary to complete her lateral entry to become certified as a high school teacher.
The conference begins at 9 a.m. and will last until 2 p.m., then Honbaier will grab lunch and head for Troutman (two hours away) where she’ll coach the Lady Rebels against host South Iredell in the Southern Piedmont Conference tournament championship.
“It was almost dream-like. Words can not express how awesome it was to get a win, especially at this time in the season,” Honbaier said of her team’s victory over No. 2 seed North Lincoln Wednesday night.
When asked what has made the difference, as trite as it may sound, the Rebels have just believed.
“They’ve just been doing the things I’ve known they could do all along and it’s finally started to come together,” Honbaier said.
To say the Lady Rebels are playing red-hot basketball would be a severe understatement as they’ve reeled off eight of their last 10, with their last loss, ironically coming at the hands of the Lady Vikings.
Playing the likes of South Caldwell and Fred T. Foard didn’t allow the Rebels to get off to a fast start. From the outside looking in, it appeared they were mired in another losing season.
But upon closer inspection, that’s why there is a non-conference season and a conference one. After beginning the season 1-5, Honbaier told them to start the Southern Piedmont schedule fresh and that they had an opportunity to do something they haven’t done at West Lincoln in quite awhile, which was to make the playoffs.
Did the message sink in right away?
“It did in a way. We were kind of down and out after losing the first conference game to North Lincoln. Then after the first win against Cherryville, a little confidence was gained,” Honbaier said. “They finally started realizing, ‘Hey, we might can do this.’ She added.
So does the new-found success and 14-11 record feel like a dream?
“In a way, it does. Wednesday night really felt surreal. It was like we had reached something we had dreamed about all season long,” Honbaier said of the first time her team had beaten the Lady Knights in four tries.
While Honbaier may not be sure of the exact moment everything clicked, she is sure she wouldn’t have been able to get there without the support of her faculty, led by Mitch Sherrill, parental support and her assistant coach Tom Sain.
“He’s been a predominant figure in a lot of offense and defense. He gives me some ideas I don’t normally think of,” she said. “Sometimes, I have my mind set on one thing and he can give me another option. We work well as a team,” she added.
Honbaier has a good feel for her team’s pulse and she knows what they need to do tonight to come away with a victory.
“We have to come out and have all the elements together. We have to out-hustle them, rebound, do the fundamental things and everything else will come together.”

by John Mark Brooks

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