COACH’S PERSPECTIVE — Skinner gets Indians ready for tough district foe

Published 12:18 am Wednesday, January 15, 2020

It was a big win for the Port Neches-Groves program, according to Kara Skinner.

The Indians head coach said Friday’s close 58-53 win over the Memorial Lady Titans was the first for at least as long as Skinner has been at the school, though she believes her squad probably should have won by a wider margin, which is a credit to coach Kevin Henry and the steady Lady Titans offense. The Indians struggled to contain the Lady Titans.

“You never can count him out, you just can’t,” Skinner said of Henry. “It doesn’t matter what you do; if you can’t stop people defensively, then it doesn’t really matter what you do offensively. I was disappointed from that respect, but a win is a win. People keep telling me that’s the first time that’s ever happened [PNG defeating Memorial]; so that’s a big win for our program. For these kids, I know for as long as I’ve been here, that’s a big win for them.”

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One of the challenges the PNG girls share with each other, and their male counterparts, is the struggle to maintain focus in the wake of mistakes and bad plays. Skinner says the challenge is especially hard on passionate players that strive to be the best they can be, like senior Maylin Stampley.

“They want to please you, they want to please teammates, they want to please parents, the list goes on,” Skinner said. “When you get to the root of the issue, that’s what it is. They want to do well, so they’re hard on themselves, because their expectation for themselves is ultimately up there. You’re sitting there trying to tell them it’s OK, but it’s not OK because it’s not OK with them.”

Composure will be necessary. The Indians played Tuesday against District 21-5A current leader Barbers Hill and will host Vidor at 7 p.m. Friday.

Vidor’s only win this season came against Cleveland in December.

The Indians’ best weapon will be knowledge, Skinner believes. The coaching staff has been scouting, taking film and formulating a game plan.

“In my personal opinion, if we are armed with that knowledge, then we understand how to stop them,” she said. “None of that matters if we don’t execute, so if we have a good game plan, ultimately it’s up to our kids to go do it, execute the game plan.”