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Walker says young Bulldogs need time on court

NEDERLAND (4-3) AT DEWEYVILLE (3-3)

GIRLS BASKETBALL; 6:30 P.M. TUESDAY; DEWEYVILLE HIGH SCHOOL

The Nederland Bulldogs fielded two freshmen and three sophomores toward the end of their game against the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears, and while the team played with heart and managed to shrink the scoring gap in the second half, the gap was probably too high for the youthful team to overcome and lost 45-35, head coach Jody Walker said.

“We’re very, very young, Walker said. “It’s just growing pains through the year, all in preparation for district. We have four juniors on the team, only two with varsity experience from last year. So we’re still extremely, extremely young.”

There are still a few games and tournaments before Nederland (4-3) plays it’s first district game against the Memorial Lady Titans on Dec. 17. The next chance the Bulldogs have to gain more minutes on the court will be at Deweyville next Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

“We’re just working on chemistry right now, continuity,” Walker said. “We’re just trying to see which girls play good with each other. It’s all a process.”

Some of that chemistry happened toward the end of the Tuesday’s game after a few adjustments were made in the second half, Walker said.

“We got down to 31-9 at halftime,” he said. “We went in, made a few adjustments and came back in the second half, and our girls really showed the heart that they have to cut it down. We had got it down to eight at one point in time.

“For us to go out and compete the last couple of weeks like we have against some very seasoned teams, I’m very pleased and I try to keep the girls encouraged.”

From now until the next game, there are no practices during the Thanksgiving break and gyms will be closed. Some of the Bulldogs didn’t want to get rusty, though, and gathered a few teammates for some impromptu practices.

“They called me to let me know that they were at our recreational facility in Nederland, and they had all got together to go up to play around and shoot around and run,” Walker said. “They’re really taking ownership of the success that we’re having. I started smiling when I received the text saying that they were at the rec shooting around.”

The extra practice will help against a well-coached Deweyville team. Walker has had the chance to see the Pirates play during the Nederland tournament last week and took note of the Pirates’ discipline.

Really, he says, it’s going to come down to how the Bulldogs play.

“I tell the girls, without fail, I’m a firm believer that if we take care of us then no matter who we play, whether it’s Deweyville, East Chambers or West Orange, once we get in the district play, we’ll be right where we need to be,” he said. “We want to play like we practice. That’s the one thing that I really try to expound up on: Play like we practice.

“That’s all it’s going to take is time and trying to get the girls to understand and see the progress that they’re making.”