Consistency the key for PackPublished 6:06pm Tuesday, January 1, 2013
The signs are there. Five minutes off good play here, a strong half there, but the key to having a strong second half of the season for coach Allison Jones and the Washington girls’ basketball team is to channel that effort and unleash it on opponents for a full 32 minutes.
The last time the Pam Pack (3-7) was on the court it wiped out an 18-point deficit against 4-A J.H. Rose in the third quarter, but could not sustain that momentum in the fourth and fell to the Rampants. The game served as microcosm of the Pam Pack season so far.
“Right now our biggest problem is that we lack consistency,” Jones said. “We can’t seem to consistently find our place on the court. But with that being said, I see a very competitive spirit in this team. This team has a lot of fight in it.”
The proof is in the practice. Despite the fact that’s it’s the holiday season the attendance at Washington’s practices during the break have been near perfect and so has the players’ attitudes.
“I’ve been real pleased with the way they work,” Jones said. “We’re 3-7 and we’ve had everybody show up for practice except those that were visiting family out of town and I think that speaks to how much these girls want to get better.”
One of the most encouraging signs so far has been the team’s play in the paint. With a roster that lack’s height and bulk, post play was a huge concern heading into the season but Pam Pack bigs Abby Walker, Kiara Smith and Shonya Midgette are beginning to show promise.
“I have seen our post play really come along,” Jones said. “The last three or four games we’ve had posts be our leaders in the scoring column and they have been different posts. I feel like they are really working each other hard in practice and helping each other get better and they’re also finding some confidence.”
Better play in the paint will go a long way to take pressure off of G/F Sheema Blount, Washington’s leading scorer with 13 points per game.
“We’re seeing a lot of teams focus on Sheema, so it’s good to see the other girls picking it up,” Jones said.
Aside from the Pack posts, Jones said she liked the improvement shown at the point guard position.
“We graduated our point guard from last year and then with Erica (Alligood’s knee) injury she was not able to jump right in and practice at the beginning,” Jones said. “But, (Alligood) has helped teach some of the others how to play that point guard position and I’m just now starting to see our point guard play get better.”
With the players working hard toward improvement, the next phase is to get them to work better as a team.
“We have to be a little bit smarter running our offense,” Jones said. “We get impatient and we want it to happen within a pass or two instead of really working the defense and setting up the play.”