Sczeny Hartry and Brittany Ferguson are pivotal leaders for the Lady Blazers basketball squad in their hunt for a Gulf South Conference title.
The Lady Blazers (18-5; 8-3 in conference) are currently battling for the second spot in the GSC behind No. 1 Delta State (10-1 in conference) and No. 2 Alabama-Huntsville (9-2 in conference). They hope to extend their winning streak at home against conference teams to 13 tonight.
The most recent victory came Saturday night when Hartry nailed a stunning buzzer beater shot to put them barely past the North Alabama Lions, 59-58.
Earlier this season, the senior guard became the 25th Lady Blazer to ever reach 1,000 points in their career, however she says winning a title would top all of her impressive accomplishments.
The Lady Blazers haven’t won a GSC title in 28 seasons, but Hartry believes that her team will have a good chance this year, especially with other senior Brittany Ferguson having the best season of her career.
“She’s a very important teammate,” Hartry said. “She always plays great and with a lot of energy. If her shots not falling, she’ll always find a way to keep involved in the game. She’s just one of the key players on this team.”
The two together are averaging close to 30 points a game and have become nightmares for opposing coaches.
Ferguson is second in the league in scoring (17.2) and rebounds (8.8) per game. She managed to pick up her conference-leading fifth player of the week award this week.
The Macon native, who was initially recruited by VSU in high school, decided to come join Coach Hill’s regime after playing for two years at Division I Western Carolina.
Ferguson, or “Ferg” as her teammates and coaches like to refer to her as, has become a known leader alongside Sczeny Hartry.
“It’s just an honor to be on her [Hartry’s] team and to be accepted,” Ferguson said. “Where our value comes in is not so much in scoring points on the court, it’s pretty much off the court and being able to hold leadership positions as captains.”
The two captains agree that part of their success this season is because team chemistry has been so phenomenal.
“We all hang out, we all love each other, that’s the one thing that’s really different about other teams I’ve been on,” Ferguson said. “We’re really close.”
Coach Hill has enjoyed seeing the two ladies mesh their personal skills together for the betterment of the team.
“I think they’re pretty valuable, they bring us some scoring opportunity,” Hill said. “I think Ferg brings some great chemistry pieces to the puzzle.”
Coach Hill describes coaching a player their entire career as “priceless” and is grateful for the way Hartry has represented this program in her four seasons as a Lady Blazer.
“Our program has been a success because of her in it,” Hill said. “We do not bring kids in to sit; we bring them in to play. For Scz coming in here with our scholarship limitations, she has fulfilled everything we have asked and more.”
VSU has only lost one game when Hartry scores more than eight points so it will be vital for her and Player of the Year candidate Brittany Ferguson to be connecting on all cylinders in the GSC tournament a few weeks away. If not, it will likely lead to another early exit for the Lady Blazers again this year.
Ferguson is tied in the GSC in double-doubles (8) and Hartry leads the league in three pointers made.
The Lady Blazers will face West Alabama tonight in the P.E. Complex. It is the last home game of the season, and the Blazer’s third to last game of the season. Tip-off is at 6 p.m.