Pam Pack continues to seek No. 2 on offense

Published 11:10 pm Tuesday, January 27, 2015

DAVID CUCCHIARA | DAILY NEWS PRODUCTION: Senior point guard Sayvon Brooks toes the sideline in the third quarter of Tuesday’s loss to North Pitt.

PRODUCTION: Senior point guard Sayvon Brooks toes the sideline in the third quarter of Tuesday’s loss to North Pitt.

Losing basketball can affect even the most humble of players. For a Washington team that has won just two games this season, head coach Steven Flowers continues to search for multiple go-to options on offense, ones that will carry the team honorably through the last five games of the regular season.

“We need to find someone we can lean on,” Flowers said. When John (Whitley) doesn’t have a great shooting night, who do we have? We need to find somebody.”

Whitley, the Pam Pack’s floor leader, has carried quite the workload this season. Averaging a team-high 18.5 points per game, the senior guard has not only assumed responsibility for carrying his team on offense, but he’s also been tasked with rallying his team when down, playing consistently sound defense and providing a spark when needed. Fair or not, he’s not allowed to have an off night.

Tuesday, in a 71-43 loss to North Pitt, was one of those nights.

Whitley scored 11 points, finished with just one assist and had difficulty operating the offense. For a team with good morale and another scoring option, he would have gone unnoticed. Unfortunately for the Pam Pack, it does not have that luxury.

Whitley is a gamer, known for constantly staring at the scoreboard, getting his teammates involved and never backing down. But with little help and a lead that continued to expand, Whitley’s demeanor turned uncharacteristically apathetic.

“I really don’t know what happened,” Flowers said. “We came out kind of flat. I think seven minutes into the game, we still hadn’t scored. After that, you could see guys deflating. I try to leave them out there and hopefully they find some heart and fight, but it just wasn’t there today.”

Whatever the core issues are, Washington has yet to find any cohesion within its deep 14-man varsity roster. Flowers has tried a variety of different starting lineups and even flipped positions, but so far, a 2-12 record tells a very grim story, one that unfortunately mirrors last season’s.

With a single primary scoring option in Stevie Green, who averaged 20 points per game in his senior campaign, Washington posted a mundane 3-12 record and finished in the basement of the Eastern Plains Conference in 2014. It was a team, like the current one, that opened the season with high expectations and an excess of talent, but never found that sustainable No. 2.

Like last season, there’s only one player on the Washington roster averaging double digits, giving very little room for error. And as with most teams, a lack of offense usually results in a lackadaisical defense down the stretch.

In order to win in the Eastern Plains Conference — Class 2-A in general for that matter — usually a fallout plan is needed, another player or two to step up when the No. 1 struggles not only offensively, but also defensively as well.

After falling by just seven points the first time around, Washington will host a rematch against first place Farmville Central on Friday — the toughest test left on the schedule. An upset is, by the numbers, unlikely. However, even with a loss, a playoff berth isn’t out of reach just yet.

If the Pam Pack can put the past behind them, come together as a team and maximize the talent buried within the roster, a run is hardly an impossibility.