Marshall sophomore Kamryn Turner said getting that first win in district play will serve as a major confidence booster.
The Lady Mavs are currently 0-4 against district opponents and Turner said she looks forward to playing against teams like Lufkin and Nacogdoches again.
“I personally don’t think it was them,” Turner said. “I think it was us. If we had a little more effort and if we had picked it up where we needed to pick it up, we would have come up with wins.”
In her 19 games this season, Turner is averaging 4.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. She has 15 steals and five blocks on the year. On top of that, her first-year head coach Eric Woods said she brings energy and toughness to the team.
“She has been our rock, honestly, at this point,” Woods said. “She’s a very smart, hard-nosed, tough player. She has a great energy and spirit about her. She’s always upbeat and always ready for the next challenge.
“She has a really good work ethic that I think a lot of our players and other young ladies in our athletic program can really feed off of.
“We need what she brings, her energy and her competitive spirit and drive and how hard she plays when she’s out there.
“I think our team needs more of that. They feed off it,” Woods added.
“She helps uplift us by constantly staying positive, constantly playing the next play, constantly having a great attitude.
“No matter the talent level and the skill, if you have that type of spirit about yourself, you’re going to be successful at whatever you do.”
The Lady Mavs had a successful non-district, one that included finishing first at the Spring Hill Tournament, but they haven’t been able to duplicate that success during district play.
“The biggest difference, I would say is the pressure of trying to make the playoffs and the importance of the games,” Turner explained.
“My expectation is for us to put the past behind us and try our best to get better and make it to the playoffs like I know we can.”
“She’s gotten better at moving on the next play, which is very encouraging because it takes a lot of people her age a while to understand that concept,” Woods said of Turner.
“So that’s been so much fun to coach and so much fun to be around.”
Turner said the game of basketball has taught her valuable life lessons.
“Even when it gets hard, we still need to push through because the outcome could come different,” she said. “If we’re losing, we could still come out with a win if we pick it up and if we’re winning and we slack off, we could still lose.”
When asked how the season is going, Turner said, “I feel like it’s going decent but we could be doing better,” before adding, “I’d say working together through the hard parts,” in response to being asked what the team’s biggest strength is.
“In the Hallsville tournament when we played Mount Pleasant, I feel like that was a good game for us because we played with lots of energy and everybody was happy and encouraging each other,” she said.
Turner and her Lady Mavs are slated to return to action today when they host Pine Tree.
“Personally, I feel that the key to winning is to not give up and just play like we know how to play, be the team that we know can win,” she said.
If her Lady Mavs can earn the win, Turner said, “I feel like that will be the highlight of the whole year.”
The Lady Mavericks’ game against Pine Tree today has been bumped up to 4:30 p.m. due to severe forecasted weather and will be played at the Marshall Junior High School gymnasium.