It’s time to get wildPublished 6:26pm Saturday, February 16, 2013
As of now, Washington stands on the outside of the playoff bubble with its nose pressed up against the window peering in at five fellow Coastal Conference mates that have qualified for the NCHSAA 3-A state playoffs.
The Pam Pack (6-13, 4-8) is hoping to join them, but after finishing in sixth place in the conference – one spot shy of getting an automatic playoff berth — the team’s only hope of getting into the big dance is via invitation. In order to do that, Washington must make some noise during this week’s conference tournament.
“We need to make a good run in the conference tournament to catch the attention of the NCHSAA seeding committee,” Washington coach Allison Jones said.
Washington will begin its quest for a wild card on Monday when it plays at No. 3 South Central (18-5, 9-4) at 6 p.m.
The Pam Pack faces a tall order in the Falcons but has steadily shown improvement on the defensive end of the court, which is a trend that must continue.
“Right now, I think defensively we’re finally seeing the floor better and we’re being better teammates to each other when we’re in man-to-man,” Jones said.
While Washington’s defense has seemed to find some consistency, the offense remains the team’s biggest X-factor.
“We tend to hit points in our games where we go dry from the outside,” Jones said. “We just have to keep battling and finding ways to produce points whether it be off steals, at the free throw line or from the floor. We’ve got to continue to find ways to score.”
The Pam Pack roster is comprised mostly of guards, however, the team has trouble breaking the press because too often players attempt to dribble through it. How Washington handles opposing pressure this week will be critical.
“We have to continue working on breaking the press without dribbling,” Jones said. “Guards are taught to be the ballhandlers but when you’re trying to break the press you have to move the ball without dribbling. So we are going to continue to work on that because we are going to see a lot of it.”
Junior guard Sheema Blount leads the Pam Pack with 13 points per game and will be heavily counted on to provide scoring punch.
“She’s our established scoring leader and the girls tend to feed off her,” Jones said. “She tends to push us and we kind of go as Sheema goes. It’s nice to see her have a positive affect on the team like that.”
Washington does not have a consistent No. 2 scorer, but has a slew of capable athletes. Jones is hoping Blount’s supporting cast plays a big role during the tournament.
“Shona Midgette, Kiara Smith and Abby Walker are three posts who have really battled and have taken turns throughout the season leading the way,” Jones said. “One of them is usually our second leading scorer and they are the ones who will have to stand out.”