Hopkinsville sophomore Donnisha Flowers doesn’t like to talk to the opponents during the game.
She lets her play take care of that.
“I don’t believe in trash-talking,” she said. “You can talk that to me. It isn’t going to do anything to me other than make me work harder. I know if I work harder than you I’m going to come out on top no matter how much you’re talking.”
Flowers helped lead the Lady Tigers to their first Eight District title since 2017, and her ability on the court as a player and a leader is why she is the 2020 Toyota of Hopkinsville Southern Pennyrile Girls’ Basketball Athlete of the Year.
Flowers said she wanted to step up and be more of a leader for her team.
“My mindset was to stay on go,” Flowers said. “Don’t come to the game thinking it’s an easy W, I don’t like when people come to the games like that because that can set you up for failure. I’ve been putting that in our girls’ heads the whole season because I’m big on that.
“I don’t really focus on how I do against others,” she continued. “I focus on how I can build a strong team with my teammates.”
All the talk started at the beginning of the year when Hoptown wasn’t expected to be a force coming in.
Flowers said the doubt and question marks around the Lady Tigers did nothing but fuel them moving forward into the year.
“It didn’t do anything but make us work harder,” Flowers said. “Hoptown girls hadn’t had a title since they won districts years ago so that didn’t do anything but build us up and make us come together. We knew everybody thought it was this and that about Hoptown, and we had to prove them wrong.”
Throughout the year, the Lady Tigers team had its ups and downs, but one of the big moments was its win over Christian County, the team’s first since 2017.
“We did something different from other generations,” she said. “It was like a proud moment. It just felt like we just cut a ribbon — it was just a new feeling.”
Flowers went on to average 13.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per game this season and led Hoptown to a district championship.
Although the Lady Tigers bowed out in the first round of the Second Region Tournament to eventual champion Henderson County, Hopkinsville returns all but one player next season and is poised to win another district championship and make a deeper run in the region.
“I look for (us to) do better,” she said. “I look for us to improve during the whole season then coming out on top again at districts. I want to go into region with a strong mind so that everything works out in our favor.
“I just want to work real hard because we do have everybody coming back. Everybody is going to know that and everybody is going to be used to that, which means we got to work harder and improve ourselves so that when we get back out on the court and play other teams, they’re not going to think it’s the same team.”