Demetrius White is not alien to the situation surrounding the Port Allen Lady Pelicans at the start of the 2014 district slate.
It bears similarity to the 2009-10 run, White’s first year with PAHS.
“It’s back to basics,” he said.
Nine girls comprise the roster and seven are freshmen, White said. Lauryn Keys, the most experienced player on the roster, is a sophomore.
“Other players haven’t played outside of middle schools,” he said. “It’s been really, really tough. I see improvement, but it’s like going back to the first year.”
Youth and inconsistency comprise the flip side of the coin for Port Allen’s progress thus far in the season.
White looks no further than the 7-3A opener last week, a 58-45 loss to Glen Oaks, in which the Lady Pelicans squandered a halftime lead after a two-point showing against 18 for GOHS in the third quarter.
Port Allen outscored the Lady Panthers 17-15 in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late.
“Our team is still trying to put four quarters together,” White said.
Keys scored 19 to lead the Pelicans. Trinitee Johnson, who came to PAHS from Pontiac, Mich., scored eight points, just a few weeks after she posted a career-high 31 against Livonia at the Pointe Coupee Central Tournament.
Mikayla Johnson also netted eight.
Inconsistency figures as the biggest culprit at this point in the season.
“We looked good in spots, but it’s been a tough year overall,” White said. “We’re making two steps forward and going four steps back.”
The loss of seniors Rhecie Lee, J’Myrhea Douglas and Jasmine Sims did not help things for Port Allen.
“For what they know right now and who they’re playing, this year’s team has been thrown to the wolves,” White said. “But make no mistake: we will get better.
“As the years come and go, you gain and lose players,” he said. “Right now, I’m trying to find that nucleus of girls we can use to build this program over the next few years.”
Top-notch opposition – including Broadmoor, Madison Prep, Denham Springs and Dutchtown – hasn’t made things any easier for Port Allen.
“You also have teams like Pointe Coupee Central and Redemptorist, both which have been quite good and have coaches who are doing an awesome job,” White said. “It’s been tough, but we have to keep sticking with it.”