You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
I think that was a dandruff commercial from the 1980s, but I’m going to use that slogan as a prelude to my first thoughts on the WCHS basketball teams. I had the chance to catch both teams in action in their season-openers Monday night and here’s what I determined.
First and foremost, both teams won against Tullahoma. Two games, two wins. Consider the night saturated with success.
As for the Lady Pioneers, I view this team as a birthday cake in the oven. It’s going to keep rising.
Three sophomores play prominent roles, including towering Tyra Wright in the paint, sharp shooter Megan Patch, and point guard Emily Mikkola.
WCHS senior Elsa Eckenrod was the best player on the floor against Tullahoma. She rebounded. She dribbled. She scored.
I was also impressed with the hustle of Callie Cathcart. During one third-quarter sequence, her defensive pressure helped to create a turnover. She then hustled down court, caught an over-the-shoulder pass, and made a layup while being fouled. Cathcart then converted the 3-point play to put the Lady Pioneers ahead 45-16.
As for the Pioneers, my first impression is this team is scrappy. It’s a little on the small side, but it’s certainly as scrappy as a viper.
Warren County’s defensive intensity on the perimeter will probably haunt Tullahoma for weeks. The Wildcat guards couldn’t handle the relentless waves of pressure that forced them to crack like they were in a KGB interrogation.
Judging by my first look, there won’t be a team on the schedule that’s as quick as the Pioneers. That’s certainly a strength. I think outside shooting will be too, although it was an off shooting night for the Pioneers on Monday.
As for a deficiency, the lack of a WCHS post game was evident on both ends of the floor. The Pioneers didn’t have success scoring from the low post or stopping Tullahoma’s one big guy. Perhaps speed and defense will be enough to compensate for this as basketball has become a more wide-open, 3-point shooting affair in recent years.
I’ll close with this. White Out Night may be a barrel of monkeys in terms of the joy derived from throwing toilet paper onto the gym floor, but I say it’s time to retire this tradition.
Why? It was a one-point game heading into the fourth quarter of the boys game. Throwing toilet paper on the floor is a technical foul which gave Tullahoma two points from the free-throw line. I wouldn’t want to lose by one point because of some silly antics.