"The very second we left that locker room, we were excited," Taylor said. "We were excited because the girls were upset that the season was over, not because they had lost the game."
That upset feeling carried over to the offseason, and now into the new season where Taylor finds himself with a powerful tool if his team's focus begins to wander during practice.
"All I have to do is go over the scoreboard and punch in a score," he said. "They automatically know what game it is. After that, the leaders of the team take over. This year it's not just the coaches that have to lead."
That could be the biggest example of how far this team has come in a short time. Two years ago, the Lady Buccaneers went 2-24. Last year, as they started to learn how to win, they improved to 15-11. Now, Allatoona expects to win every night it steps onto the floor.
One reason for the newfound confidence is the fact that Taylor has everyone back and a roster with only two seniors: Kaitlin Chumley and Natalie Benedict.
Chumley starts at one wing, while Benedict is the sixth man who can play any position on the floor. The remainder of the starting lineup consists of outside threat Alyssa Dobson, post players Alexis Ezell and Dessaa Legros and point guard Elise Spann - all four are sophomores - and Spann has become the undeniable leader on the court.
"Spann is the leader on the floor," Taylor said. "Chumley is the vocal leader in and out of the game. The two know each other's limits and work together really well."
What the pair does is run Taylor's version of "controlled chaos," which may be an added advantage now that the team is playing in Class AAA. The reason, many of the schools within Region 7AAA - Pickens, Ridgleand, Ringgold, Dalton, Cartersville, etc. - will play a kind of fundamental basketball, likely a more traditional half-court offense and defense.
For Allatoona, Spann will lead a team that is completely the opposite. The Lady Bucs will look to run and execute as much as possible, and much of the offense will be generated from the high-pressure defense they will give to most opponents. Taylor said the key to up-tempo play is to force teams to go deeper into their bench than they normally would.
If there is an area where Allatoona might fall short, it's size. Ezell is the only starter as tall as 5-foot-10 while the rest range from 5-4 to 5-9.
With nearly everything seeming to break Allatoona's way heading into the season, the Lady Bucs have only one more thing they really need to do - qualify for the state tournament.
"That would be huge," Taylor said. "It would really show people we are successful and that the kids are really buying into it."