Youthful Rattlers show their fight early in the season
Despite a 4-4 record, San Marcos is still showing signs of improvement and fight as the Lady Rattlers progress through the early part of the season.
Head basketball coach Jermaine Ervin talked about how despite being a team filled with youth, the Lady Rattlers are improving with each game.
“We are looking OK,” Ervin said. “We are growing and we’re a young team. We have a lot of new players and every game we are learning something new about ourselves and how we need to play the game of basketball to be successful.”
One of the obstacles of this season is San Marcos has been team chemistry with some of the players joining the team following the end of volleyball season while not having enough time to practice with their teammates who have been in the gym for a while.
“One of our main challenges is that we have about four girls who are coming over from volleyball,” Ervin said. “They are young and they have not been playing basketball. That has been one of our biggest challenges is they finished volleyball while we started basketball so we have had more games than practices which is the toughest part. While we do have seven other girls, they have not played with the other four together as a team so that has been a challenge within itself.”
Despite the youth on the team and the lack practice, the Rattlers have shown the will to fight back against tough competition from teams like Fredericksburg, Austin High, and Fort Worth Saginaw who boost several D1 talents.
“One of our biggest strengths has been their resiliency,” Ervin said. “They have the will to win, fighting back, and how they have been able to figure it out along the way. We have had some injuries including to one of our major players so we had to start freshman at points of the season where they had to go out there not only play hard but also figure it out on the court. They had to listen to some of the older girls while on the fly. It’s been tough but I’ve realized that these young girls can play the game of basketball. It’s just now how do they learn how I want them to play the game. Right now they are trying to figure out what’s their role, what are their expectations for them, and how to manage their expectations for them since they are so young.”
While the players do play on the AAU circuit against high level talent, playing high school basketball presents different kinds of challenges all by itself.
“There is a big jump from eighth grade basketball to varsity basketball,” Ervin said. “So it’s making sure they are navigating that correctly … we are blessed that these girls play on the AAU circuit. They see other players at this level but as a coach there is a difference between AAU basketball and UIL varsity basketball. Those 6:30/7 p.m. games are a lot different. Also their roles have changed with most of the girls being primary role players and the go-getters, point scorers and defenders in AAU. Now they are being asked to do certain things defensively, offensively, and scheme wise which has been challenging since we haven’t had a whole lot of practice and not being able to see what their expectations are.”
Last Tuesday saw the Rattlers come out on top as San Marcos defeated Round Rock Westwood 50-40 with Azariah Fennell leading the team in scoring with 14 points followed by Saylor Uphaw with 12 points,
San Marcos goes back on the road next Tuesday as it faces another tough opponent in the Navarro Panthers.