A .500 start in district either leads to a frown or a smile on a coach’s face.
Shaeeta Williams chooses to smile.
The Lady Panthers head coach has seen her team build a 10-7 record after a week in 7-3A action, something she considers a mixed blessing.
“Considering the competition we’re facing, I’m happy,” Williams said. “But the coach in me still shows, and I want to see growth, but I can’t complain.”
The caliber of competition – various tournaments and non-district powers such as White Castle – have been great learning experiences thus far for the Lady Panthers, she said.
“We’re getting experience against different competition, plus we’re still a pretty young team,” Williams said. “But we’re starting to click.”
The Lady Panthers turned back district foe Glen Oaks 63-52 in action Friday. Sophomore Shantrella Pierson paced the Lady Panthers with 18 points in the contest.
Brusly pulled off the win despite pressure GOHS put on Brusly’s season leading scorer Madison LaPrairie, who was held to eight points.
“They really boxed her in,” Williams said.
BHS upended Glen Oaks after taking a six-point lead at the half.
Despite a record above .500, Williams said she believes the Lady Panthers could be a more formidable team if they overcome one key weakness.
“Turnovers have been our biggest problem this season,” she said. “We need to keep better control on the ball.”
Brusly has averaged 20 turnovers per game this season, which has limited the Lady Panthers.
Strong management of the ball is a must in a fiercely competitive district, particularly against powers such as Baker, University, Glen Oaks and Parkview Baptist.
“We have to be ready any given night,” Williams said. “Port Allen and West Feliciana are struggling, but otherwise this could be anybody’s district.”
Even if they don’t win the 7-3A title, Williams believes big things loom on the horizon for the Lady Panthers.
“I definitely think we’re playoff contenders,” she said. “I’m looking at the big picture and thinking we’ll get there.
“At the same time, I look at the short-term goals, such as trying to win two or three consecutive games, but ultimately our goal is to get back to winning district championships,” Williams said.
The Lady Panthers continue on the road this week when they visit Parkview Baptist on Friday and Port Allen on Tuesday.
Road games in the first half of the district run could benefit Brusly, according to Williams.
“I think that could give us the momentum we need going into the second round, which is when we need it most,” she said.