He freely admitted he was not happy with the way they executed in most phases of the game.
And yet the scoreboard told a different story as a hard effort paid off in the form of a 60-34 Division 1-4A victory for the Lady Bulldogs (10-0) over the Pontotoc Lady Warriors.
"That was an ugly 26-point win, but our defense played pretty good," Stroud said. "Pontotoc is a tough team to have as your division opener.
"They always play tough defense, and I was glad just to get 60 points."
The Lady Bulldogs had two moments in the contest where everything came together, and that made a significant impact on the scoreboard.
A pair of Micha Washington baskets helped to power a 13-0 run to close the first quarter, giving New Albany a 23-8 lead. Then with Pontotoc (7-2, 0-1) hanging tough into the third period, the Lady Bulldogs strung together a 20-5 burst that carried into the fourth quarter, pushing their advantage to 53-28
Washington and Kebrina Lucas each scored 21 points to lead New Albany, while Ebony Brinker managed 12 for Pontotoc.
(B) New Albany 64, Pontotoc 56
The always tough Warriors could not handle the winning focus of the Bulldogs when it mattered.
After trailing by as much as 15 points in the second quarter, Pontotoc surged to a 36-35 lead in the third quarter on an Adrian Potter bank shot. But New Albany (6-4, 1-0) responded with an 11-0 run, paced by a pair of baskets by Adrian Gamble.
Pontotoc later pulled within six points inside of two minutes to play in the contest, but ran out of steam.
"Our shot selection was good for the most part, better than previous games," New Albany coach Brad Gray said. "You always have to be prepared against Pontotoc."
Gamble led New Albany with 14, and Josh Green scored 21 to lead Pontotoc.