By Thomas Sellers Jr.
A losing streak is unfamiliar territory for the Munford Lady Cougars.
After dropping a game Dec. 17 to rival Covington, Steve Poindexter’s Lady Cougars were officially in a losing streak dropping their game in a row. Prior to the contest and expecting a visit from another rival in Millington Friday night Poindexter addressed his team.
“I told them to write these dates down, ‘Dec. 20 and Dec. 21, 2011,’” he recalled. “They didn’t have a clue of what I was talking about. I said, ‘I said you understand that was the last time this program has lost two games in a row. That’s two years ago.’
“I then said, ‘You need to make a decision,’” Poindexter continued. “‘Are you going to carry this on your shoulders and make sure this program continues in the direction it needs to go. Or are you going to let the program down?’ That’s a team decision. I don’t care what grade you’re in. I don’t care how much you played before this year. This is Munford. We’re either going up or right back down. There’s no in between. They need to decide where this program is going.”
Against Millington the Lady Cougars choose to get things heading in the right direction winning 71-41. Munford adopted Poindexter’s philosophy of going inside then out in the first quarter. The star of the opening period was Lady Cougar center Lindsey Owen.
The junior post scored 11 points in the first quarter helping Munford claim a 14-7 advantage. Owen used an array of post moves including an up-and-under for a layup.
“We’re going to be committed to getting the ball inside,” Poindexter said. “There are two things going on. The guards are going to feed the post. We’re going to be committed to feeding the post. And Lindsey is going to be put through the ringer every practice. She’s going to work her tail off.
“That’s what happening right now,” Poindexter added. “She deserves to get the ball right now. And when she gets it, she can do something with it. Her confidence is growing. She made a move tonight with her drop-step, spin move that was pretty impressive.”
With the Lady Trojans adjusting to Owen’s hot start by fronting her in the post, the second quarter became a challenge for the Munford guards to hit from the perimeter. Lady Cougars Kierra Richardson, Alex Wherry and Johnna Jones were ready to answer the call.
Richardson scored the first 4 points of the period. Wherry made the score 24-13 driving to the rim for a layup. Right before the halftime buzzer, Jones nailed a three-pointer to make the tally 33-15.
The Munford advantage grew to 24 points after three quarters with Phenicia Howard dropped 6 points by penetrating to the basket for three layups. When Lady Cougar Precious Mills hit a jumper at the end of the period, Munford was ahead 54-30.
The Lady Cougars kept the pressure on Millington holding the Lady Trojans to 11 points in the fourth quarter.
“When you’re in a losing streak, you’re not going to overlook anybody or underestimate anybody,” Poindexter said. “I don’t think that was an issue tonight. We’re obviously trying to learn how to play a different style. We’ve got to find a way with our lack of experience to find a way to try to create points. We scored 71 points tonight. That’s our highest by far.”
The best offensive output of the year coincided with Munford’s new pressure defense working majority of the game. Poindexter acknowledge his team is working on things and still adjusting to life without senior guard Kierra Webb after season-ending ACL surgery.
“This team is a work in progress,” Poindexter concluded. “I am optimistic that by February we’ll be playing our best basketball. And if we are playing our best basketball, we’re going to be dangerous at that time.”