Lady Wildcats breaching new territory – a winning streak

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 12, 2000

WOODVILLE – Wilkinson County High School is not known for girls basketball. For the last 12 years, the program has failed to achieve what even the kindest souls might consider success. The team had amassed only six wins total in the last three seasons. After starting this year 0-4, it looked like the Lady Wildcats were in for more of the same.

But that was before a four-game win streak that has the rejuvenated 2000-2001 Lady Wildcats thinking about a district title – and beyond.

&uot;Our team goal is to win a state title,&uot; said senior forward Natasha Dennis. &uot;Is it realistic? Of course.&uot;

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That winning attitude is exactly what was missing from last year’s team, said senior Pershunna Turnbull.

&uot;We practice hard and do the same thing in games,&uot; she said. &uot;We learn our weaknesses in practice and straighten them out. Everyone on the team has the heart.&uot;

Turnbull is another reason for Wilkinson County’s recent success. After averaging only four points a game for the last three years, she is so far averaging more than 20. And Dennis is averaging more than that, according to yet another reason for the Lady Wildcats’ winning spark – first-year coach Edwin White.

&uot;Discipline was the main problem when I came here,&uot; White said. &uot;I just had to come in here and enforce it.&uot;

The program was essentially lax the last few years, Dennis said.

&uot;We really didn’t push ourselves like we should have,&uot; she said. &uot;Coach got that out of us this year. He won’t let us settle for anything else.&uot;

White, a Natchez native, had previously served as an assistant coach at Ferriday High School.

&uot;I noticed when we (Ferriday) played them, they had talent, but they couldn’t seem to put it together,&uot; he said. &uot;I came in with a defensive style of play – a lot of press. They’re not really used to that in this district.&uot;

Wilkinson County will get its chance to test that theory Jan. 12 in the district opener against Hazelhurst. The Lady Wildcats will get a chance to extend their winning streak to five at 6 p.m. today against Crystal Springs.

&uot;I think everyone finally knows in their hearts that we have the best team in the district,&uot; Turnbull said. &uot;Everyone knows that we can go all the way.&uot;