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Cougar Chemistry Class

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Basketball Lady Cougars

The Steve Poindexter Era at Munford High School has produced some quality basketball and banner success.
The Lady Cougars have become a regular to the Regional Tournament and in 2012-13 Munford finally reached Sectionals. But a quartet of seniors graduated off that team, leaving a young squad with the torch.
And last season the Lady Cougars took some bumps without their only senior Kierra Webb, who was out the entire season with an ACL injury. Despite losing a few more games than the previous season, Munford reached the Regional Semifinals.
Entering the 2014-15 season, some experts say the Lady Cougars have the talent and experience to make it back to Sub-State and surpass the standard set by the 2013 team.
“You would expect for the maturity level to be much higher than it was last year when everybody comes back,” Poindexter said. “You’re not going into a situation to where your whole starting lineup is a lineup that has never started a varsity game before. That’s what we faced last year. So this year, we won’t necessarily be going through that.
“What I’m interested in seeing is the growth from where we where last year to where we’re going to end up this year,” he added. “That’s a story that hasn’t been told yet. But that’s what Im interested in. Where they were to where they are now?”
Poindexter will have four seniors who will help with the team-building this season, Kierra Richardson, Alex Wherry, Lindsey Owen and Phenicia Howard. All four of those Lady Cougars played a key role on offense and defense last season.
Owen is a true center with an outside shooting touch. Howard ran point and is known to attack the basket. Wherry is a small forward who can handle the ball all over the court. And Richardson has the ability to go for 20 point a night.
But all those skills need to work within a cohesive unit.
“We do have everybody coming back and we do have some talent,” Poindexter noted. “But it’s all about how well they play together. In my opinion, this group is more talented than that group up there from two years ago. But that group from two years ago played together at a very high level.
“I’m interested in seeing how high can we get the level of chemistry for this team,” he added. “Do we have people who can shoot? Yes. Do we have people who can get the ball down low and produce? Yes. Do we have people who can handle the basketball? Yes. Do we have experience? Yes. But can they play well together? That’s going to determine how far we go.”
The chemistry will also be impacted by underclassmen like Johnna Jones, Shania Johnson, Deasha Banks and freshman Gabby Crawford.
“That group last year underachieved,” Poindexter acknowledged. “We played in the district championship and didn’t win it. We got beat in the Region Semis to a team in the previous weeks we had beaten. I don’t feel like we performed anywhere close to our potential in that last game. That kind of left a bad taste in my mouth.
“This team has a lot prove,” he concluded. “Could we have beaten either one of those teams from Memphis in that Sectional game? I don’t know. But we should have played in it. That team’s potential was to get to the Regional championship. It all depends on how they grow. If the maturity level is where it needs to be and people stay healthy, the potential is there.”

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November 2014
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