Schedule not doing winless Pam Pack favors

Published 5:38 pm Monday, December 11, 2017

Washington’s basketball team has no shortage of problems to work through. Seven games in and the Pam Pack is still looking for its first win. Coaches are trying to keep morale up as they take baby steps toward playing a complete game.

Now Washington has to battle its schedule, too.

Monday begins a three-day stretch of games. Washington takes to the road Monday to complete its non-conference series with a former league opponent in North Pitt.

The Pam Pack hung with the Panthers at home on Wednesday. Head coach Ralph Biggs said his team played about 22 of competitive basketball. It’s another step forward as the team strives for a 32-minute complete game.

Biggs said he has some ideas in mind as for how to work toward that goal on the practice court.

“We’ve got to put more pressure throughout practice. We’ve got to put them in pressure situations,” Biggs said. “We’ve got to make them play harder, play longer. Part of it, I think, is we’ve got to learn to play tired. We’ve got to wear them out a little more at the beginning of practice then make them learn to play tired.

“Then you start to think. Instead of relying on your athletic ability, you rely on your mind because you’re tired.”

The only problem is that Washington won’t see the practice court much next week. It will play three games in three days to begin the week. Biggs said the team got to work on Thursday and Friday, but it won’t have a chance to fine-tune much between games next week.

Even more troublesome is that Washington, after traveling to North Pitt, hits the road for its 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference opener at Greene Central on Tuesday. The Rams drubbed the Pam Pack by a combined 65 points over two encounters last season. They graduated no one from that 26-2 squad that went all the way to the eastern-regional championship.

Washington will then return home to play North Lenoir. The Hawks are RECORD early in the season. Even if that game was a bit of a better matchup than Greene Central, the Pam Pack could very well be worn out by then.

“We’re going to jump right into the games,” Biggs said, adding that Thursday and Friday’s practices were more technical. “I don’t have a lot of time until the December break. Then I can put a little more into them. We can work on that mental toughness.”

The Pam Pack will need to be tough this next week. At 0-7, team morale could very well be a concern. The players and coaches alike need to find silver linings where they can.

“It’s one of those things where you’ve got to look for little victories throughout the game,” Biggs said. “I try to tell them to win the first five minutes. Then win the first quarter. Then win the first five minutes of the second quarter. Break it into segments.”

Optimism is still there. Washington knows from football season that hitting its stride at the right point can turn a season around. That point is the beginning of conference play. Competition atop the standings will be stiff, but the Pam Pack can right a lot of things by competing for a spot in the middle of the pack.