Exchange, first-hand, friendly, jump, trick
Coach Spain was worried. They had a Thanksgiving tournament in Houston in two weeks. The team got by the mid-terms with everyone having a 2.5 GPA or better. She had first-hand knowledge that this tournament could make or break the season. Going into it undefeated was a liability. So far none of the teams they’d played put up a real challenge. They would be walking into a buzz saw against the three other teams in the tournament.
She had scrimmages with the men’s JV team three times the previous week to get them in shape. Shanika was turning into a first-class center and the other six players had perfected their jump shots getting lots of three pointers. It kept the other players from crowding Shanika on the inside.
Tony Adams was impressed by their play. His players upped their game the past few weeks. They were much better defensively against three-point shots. Ray picked up the jump hook after getting burned by Shanika with it. At first the scrimmages were friendly, but as the girls got better his guys realized they needed to take them seriously. It was turning into a good exchange of training for both teams. Next year when this group of freshmen and sophomores replaced his seniors, he’d be much more competitive.
Karen purposely kept Shanika from shooting three pointers to this point in the season. After regular workouts the tall woman kept practicing her outside shots, but it was important to perfect her inside game. The last scrimmage against the men she turned Shanika loose and let her rain down three pointers. They beat the men by ten points.
“That was a dirty trick,” Tony said shaking his head after the game.
“I know,” she said. “I hope it works well in Houston. Shanika won’t be the tallest player against those teams.”