GIRLS BASKETBALL: PNG’s ‘Fab Five’ back for playoff chase

Published 10:07 pm Thursday, October 27, 2016

PORT NECHES — Robin Wilson and her Port Neches-Groves Indians are definitely not short on experience.

The starting five players returning all played last season, giving Wilson confidence this group of Indians can compete for a playoff spot in District 22-5A.

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“Experience is the key for this team,” Wilson said. “They have gained a lot more confidence and knowledge about the game. They have gained a lot this year.”

It would be quite a turnaround for the Indians, who finished 1-13 last year in the district race and were tied for seventh.

“It is tough going 1-13 in district last year,” Wilson said. “This team worked a lot over the summer. We worked on open gym and team camps. The players have bonded as a team and really overcome a lot of obstacles.”

PNG will be led by a ‘Fab Five’ of sorts with the five returning starters from a season ago. One of the best parts of the five is that they are all seniors.

Taylor Johnson will play both post and wing with Tessah Miller handling the point guard position. Khloe Droddy, Hannah Jones and Mary Grace Lunceford will all play post.

The team is also much more prepared to run the style of basketball Wilson wants from the ladies in purple and white.

So what style is that, exactly?

“I don’t know,” Wilson said with a laugh. “On any given day, anything is possible. We are such a tough district, you just never know.”

What Wilson does know is this team of Indians is far different from last season’s group, even with the same players. She believes the confidence the teammates have shown in early practices is a sign PNG could soon turn the corner.

“I like this team’s confidence and attitude,” Wilson said. “They are willing and want to be here each day at practice. They love the game.”

It is going to take a lot for the Indians to get one of the four playoff spots. Central, Ozen, Lumberton and Vidor are all talented teams, and now the district has to deal with Port Arthur Memorial and Livingston.

Memorial dropped down from Class 6A and Livingston moved over in February’s realignment.

“Central, Ozen and Memorial are really tough teams,” Wilson said. “Then Lumberton has a lot back and Vidor has a lot back. It is a tough district, but we are going to work hard and keep our heads up. Going forward is all we can do.”

PNG plays in a three-team scrimmage at The Reservation starting at 9 a.m. Saturday against Kelly and Bridge City.

Gabriel Pruett: 721-2436. Twitter: @PaNewsGabe

About Gabriel Pruett

Gabriel Pruett has worked with both the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader since 2000. A majority of the time has been spent covering all aspects of Southeast Texas high school sports. Pruett's claim to fame is...being able to write his own biographical information for this website.

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