By Thomas Sellers Jr.
To get an idea for what Munford Lady Cougars Head Coach Steve Poindexter expects out of his 2015-16 team, just go to www.millington-news.com and search for the season previews of 2013 and 2014.
Since the Lady Cougars achieved the best season in school history in 2012-13 with a Sub-State appearance, area experts have predicted Munford’s return to the Saturday night game.
Despite the Lady Cougars being one of the best teams in the area during the Poindexter era, there is only one banner on the Munford Gymnasium wall.
So as the 2015 season approaches, Poindexter faces a similar situation from the previous two campaigns.
“It’s going to be the same story it has been,” he said. “This will be the third year in a row, we have talent but I’m not sure if they’re going to have the toughness to go along with it to be successful.
“We’ve had back-to-back years to where we had the most talent in our district,” Poindexter acknowledged. “But we couldn’t win the tournament. I feel like we came up short. I feel like we’ll have the most talented team in our district again this year with what we have returning. But once again, will we have the chemistry and the toughness. Those are the big question marks.”
To support Poindexter’s declaration of his team having the most talent in District 13-3A, players Phenicia Howard and Lindsey Owen signed to play college basketball. And standouts like Kierra Richardson and Gabby Crawford won several awards.
Crawford returns to the roster as a standout sophomore. Other underclassmen expected to shine for Munford will be Shania Johnson, Johnna Jones, Dejanae Potter and De’Asha Banks. Munford’s roster only features one senior and add a couple of freshmen in the mix for depth.
Poindexter said after two seasons of coming up short in the Regional Semifinals, he hopes his Lady Cougars will have a chip on their shoulders.
“It’s a matter of toughness,” he said. “We’ve been beaten six times by the same team. That’s the only team that has done it to us since I’ve been here. This is my sixth year. That’s never happen. It comes down to one thing — toughness.”
The biggest chip should be the Dyer County Lady Choctaws. The past two seasons have crowned the Lady Choctaws the queens of District 13-3A.
Will Munford be able to overcome their Dyer County jinx? Will the Lady Cougars place another banner on the wall? Poindexter said the answer is simple.
“It’s no long drawn out list of reasons,” he said. “It’s toughness. That team was tougher than our kids. We are more talented. The last six times we’ve played Dyer County, we’ve had the more talented team on the floor. But they were tougher. That’s it.
“I tell the kids all the time, there’s a reason we have a two-year absence without a banner on the wall,” Poindexter concluded. “The team that has the banner on the wall wasn’t the most talented team I’ve coached since I’ve been here. But they had the highest level of chemistry and they were tough.”