Pack hits hardwoodPublished 8:50pm Tuesday, November 12, 2013
With several returning players back for another year, the Washington girls’ basketball team hit the hardwood for its fifth practice of the year on Tuesday looking to improve on last year’s 9-17 season.
For sixth-year coach Allison Jones, the season has gotten off to a good start as a large volume of players turned up for tryouts.
“We had a big turnout for tryouts this year,” Jones said. “We had a large number of freshmen that came out and I think that’s a good thing for the program.”
Another bonus for Jones is that with several players returning from last year’s team she doesn’t have to start from scratch this season
Sheema Blount, who averaged 13 points per game to lead the Pack year, is back, along with Kiara Smith, Abby Walker, Stasha Boston, Dina Redmond, Shona Midgette and Alana Jefferson.
“Sheema Blount was our top scorer last year and we expect big things from her,” Jones said. “Kiara Smith and Stasha Boston are senior post players that have been on varsity for a couple of years now and we’re expecting them to step up this year and provide leadership.
“At the same time, I have a couple of posts in Abby Walker and Shona Midgette who are in their third year of varsity, and then we have some guards in Alana Jefferson, Shona Midgette and Dina Redmond who have been in the program for a while.”
While the team doesn’t lack for experience, it does lack in height and Jones said that is expected to influence Washington’s style of play.
“There are times where we are going to go with a smaller group on the floor and we really have to push the tempo this year,” Jones said. “But, we are going to have to make good decisions on the fastbreak and that will determine the speed at which we play.
“The girls have been working hard at practice. We just have to continue to get better every day.”
In order to play up-tempo basketball the Pack first needs to find a point guard.
“It’s wide open. I’m kind of looking for somebody to step up,” Jones said. “There are times when I see a lot of good things out of a lot of our guards.”
The Pam Pack is scheduled to play its first game on Tuesday, Nov. 26 against Riverside and Jones said right now her immediate goal is to get the players acclimated with one another and the team’s style of play.
“For the players that moved up from junior varsity to varsity, our goal for them is just get them used to the new pace. Varsity girls are a lot quicker, it’s a faster game,” Jones said. “And for everyone I’m just looking for chemistry on the floor and to find what our true strengths are and capitalizing on that.
“I think if the girls will commit themselves to this program they will see some good results at the end of the season.”