Thursday, February 06, 2014

Playing for the Future

It has been a difficult year for the Twin Valley South Girls Basketball team this season.  A low turnout and young team meant that the squad entered the season at a disadvantage.  Only one player, senior Kacy Bolton, had any varsity experience from the previous year.  And when most of your line up is comprised of freshman and sophomores it means that the team is not going to have the stamina and the physicality of a seasoned varsity squad.  There have been times when there has been 5 freshman on the court.  Which means that there are 14-15 year olds going against 17 and 18 year olds.

Due to injury South has had to drop their junior varsity schedule. Now Preble Shawnee faces a similar problem with numbers.   And like South they are playing a varsity only schedule. But with a core group of experienced players,  they are hovering around .500 for the season.   So for the time being they are maintaining some measure of success despite having a low turnout.  But South does not have that core group of Varsity experience – they are mostly fresh faces.

South’s best scoring player, Haily Keener has been sidelined with a server ankle sprain and is out for the season.  So when Covington visited this past week it was another tough game for the winless Panthers.  They were down 31-8 at the half and at games end they were down 61-10.  Covington used a man to man to defense to keep South in check and used a shell offense against South’s zone.  Scorer’s for South: Kacy Bolton 2, Sarah Bingham 2, Madison Wright 4, Bailey Schwarbow 2. 

It’s been tough but the girls are grinding through the season.  When I arrived at the game the Covington fans were equal in number if not more than the South side of the stands.  There were some arrivals at halftime for South.  But the stands were definitely sparse.   I think that the team needs recognition from the South faithful for just pushing through the season and playing to the best of their ability night after night.
I spoke with coach Mabry about this trying season after the game, “It’s difficult, it’s frustrating.  You try to look at little victories, sometimes it’s not a matter of what the score is – but are we executing stuff that we worked on this week in practice.  And sometimes they get it and you get a little excited about the future.  But is tough on these young kids to go out there and be out manned. Varsity basketball is a more physical and aggressive game than what they are used to.”

Is there any one player that has advanced more than you thought they would from the beginning of the season?  “I see little things in all of them.   I think all of them have made improvements in their game.  But going forward we need to keep working and getting better each time we step on the court.  I see the potential in them, but they have been thrown into a situation where they are playing varsity before they are truly ready.  It would have been best for them to play at the JV level and maybe had a little more success.   In the long run you hope that playing against better competition will push them to make themselves better.  On the other hand you hope that it doesn’t deflate them totally and make them give up.”

For the future. “ Right now you have freshman and sophomores playing varsity and you have to figure that after 2 -3 years that they will be in a spot to have an impact. In the meantime there has be patience both for them and myself as they mature as players. They have to realize that it won’t be this year and maybe not next year. But you have to figure that in 3 years all this hard work will pay off.”


South girls have a lot of make up games due to the recent bad weather.  South will be playing a one win Bethel team and also a 3 win Jefferson team in the next couple of weeks.  These will be their best opportunities to get that 0’fer off of their necks.  So let’s go support them – win or lose.