Fun is the key to Elks’ success with Tigers

Published 4:16 pm Sunday, April 6, 2008

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
WILLIAMSTON — No matter what the sport, when you are winning, the game just seems more fun. However, in the case of the Williamston girls basketball team, coach Jimmy Elks believes his team’s ability to have fun helped the Tigers generate more success.
Elks said the Tigers’ chemistry proved to be the winning formula that produced an Atlantic Conference regular season and tournament title, as well as a sectional championship, and don’t forget about the team’s 27-game winning streak.
The soft spoken Elks, guided his team in an anti-Bobby Knight fashion. Instead of barking orders at his players, he took the collar off of his team, allowing it to play more of an up-tempo style on defense and offense. The move resulted in a prolonged playoff push, and Elks being named the Washington Daily News Girls Coach of the Year.
Star sophomore point guard Katie Paschal said that Elks’ style meshed well with the team.
Winning is always fun, but aside from the chemistry, and the play of Paschal and forward Equalia Vines, a contributing factor to the Tigers’ success was Elks’ decision to speed up the game.
Elks unleashed an effective press all season long, which allowed his team to routinely shut down opposing clubs, while picking up fastbreak points.
Paschal said she was in favor of the speedier style of play.
Elks contends that he pressed just as much last season as he did this season, but that the reason why it was more noticeable this year was that his team executed it better.
Elks estimated that this year’s team out-scored last year’s team by about 15 points per game, because of its change of pace.
While his team may change pace, Elks doesn’t. Paschal said no matter what the situation is in the game, Elks is always encouraging the Tigers to give it their all.