Randy Abbott enters his first year as head coach of the Whiteoak Lady ‘Cats basketball team for the 2015-2016 season. Abbott, previously a JV coach for the Hillsboro Indians and assistant to the varsity boys team, will be taking the reigns of a team that went just 1-12 in the league last year and won five games overall. But coach Abbott says his team has had a successful start in preseason and the girls are working hard everyday.
“We’ve been working real hard on fundamentals and on our defense,” said Abbott. “The girls are working hard and improving every day.
“We have Emma Wardlow, a senior this year, who is about 80-some points away from scoring her 1,000th point. Maggie Carr is going to be running our point this year and I think, mechanically, she’s as good as anyone out there as far as her shot. She’s going to have to get some confidence though.
On that note, all the girls need to have some of that. We have to go into every game thinking we’re going to win. We can’t go into a game already thinking it’s going to be a loss. We’re going to prepare the best we can for each game and go in expecting to win them.”
Coach Abbott says he has been impressed by this group of girls from the time he was introduced to them after being hired.
“The thing that impressed me the most about was after I got hired and had a meeting with the team, the seniors stayed back and let it be known that they’re here to win and willing to pay whatever price to turn this team around,” Abbott said. “I, as a coach, am not here to rebuild a team. I’m here to win. I’m impressed with who they are and what they represent. The basketball part is a whole other side, but it will come.
The Lady ‘Cats, given their history in the SHAC, we’re not voted to finish very high, but coach Abbott says that that will not hold his girls back>
“At the C103 preseason thing, we were picked last,” Abbott said. “That tells you right there what the rest of the league expects from us, but that’s not what we expect from us. We know that we’re going to have to play disciplined ball. We’re going to have to do things right to win. We’re not going to be afforded mistakes. We have to work doubly hard because we don’t have the luxury of having great athletes come off the bench. I can’t sit here and tell you how things are going to roll, but we’re not going to look past anybody we play. We’re going to try and find a recipe to beat them.”
The Lady ‘Cats had a strong showing in their first game of the year on Saturday as they fell to 44-41 Paint Valley, who returns three all-leaguers to the team, after having a lead slip out of their hands in the final minutes.
Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.