MINERAL WELLS —
“Ashlynn, Pam and Riley have proved in non-district play that they belong on varsity,” Shelstead said. “I wish I could give Pam and Riley more playing time, but they are here for two main reasons. First off, I knew both had awesome work ethics, and that hasn’t changed.
“Pamela is a slasher, and she has had a couple of very good games that has made me wonder if I should be playing her a little bit more. Riley is very smart, and she is Natalie’s backup. But because Natalie has played so well, Riley has gotten less minutes.
“Second, when I put them out there they know what they are supposed to do, they work hard, and they don’t deviate from the plan. Pam throws her body around and fights hard, and that is what I have always liked about her.
“Ashlynn also fits a nice role for us, and she is a fighter who rebounds well and defends post players well. She comes in and allows Sydney to get off the post, and that also gives both Sydney and Niya break down low.”
So, now I will finally get to answering “the question” of how this team has turned it around and gone from an afterthought to a solid post-season contender.
First and foremost, the players. The players who want to be here, and who accept, understand and live their roles. They worked hard to gain a certain amount of chemistry, and it has paid off. They are getting better each game, and they realize their potential.
Second, the coach. He got everyone on the same page, and he got the girls to believe in their specific roles.
The blend of talent and work ethic on this team has translated into non-district success, and I see no reason why it won’t continue as we approach district play on Friday at Castleberry.
I am really looking forward to the 6-3A season, and beyond.