Coach Wilkins looks for leaders to step forward
Gilroy – James Wilkins has great faith in the Gilroy girls’ basketball team.
He also has a lot of concern.
Since Amanda Spellman went down with an ankle injury, the Mustangs have lost their “voice” on the floor.
To know “Big Spell” is to understand why as a junior she was voted co-captain of the GHS field hockey team. Skill is one thing. But every coach needs that “coach” on the field of action.
And Wilkins is looking for that individual to emerge on the basketball court.
What he has now is nine coachable girls. But they are a quiet group by nature. Wilkins and assistant coach Ana Patejdl can only do so much during game preparation. On the floor, others have to speak up.
Wilkins hopes to “hear” from someone during Friday’s game at Pacific Grove. Game time has been moved up to 3pm.
“I’m looking for someone to step up vocally,” Wilkins said. “We need someone to pump us up on the court.”
The last two games were what had Wilkins most concerned. The worst part of the “quiet times” is that the girls are not yelling “screen” or “switch” when they are being picked by opponents. This has led to easy opponents’ baskets in the last two games.
GHS lost an 11-point lead in the Mustang Classic final in falling 43-34 to St. Francis. The Mustangs squandered most of a 13-point advantage before holding on Tuesday to edge winless Mount Pleasant.
“We’ve been appointing two captains per game to give everyone a chance to show leadership,” Wilkins said. “Being a captain doesn’t mean you have to start. It means you have to show leadership.”
Wilkins is also concerned about the offense. The good news is that GHS has balanced scoring with three girls within two points of each other. The bad news is that nobody is averaging as many as nine points a game. That creates another good news-bad news scenario — opponents can’t key on one individual. At the same time, there is nobody making the big baskets.
Gilroy is playing good enough defense that it sports a 4-1 record. But the Mustangs haven’t been able to top the 48 points they put up on Live Oak in the opener.
Presently, Dana Schoeneman is the top scorer with 43 points, Vanessa Wilkins has 42 and Angela Silveria has 41.
“We need to have more confidence in our abilities instead of relying on teammates,” coach Wilkins said. “What we’ve done in the last two games is get rid of the ball as fast as possible. Girls are passing up open shots. When they have open shots, they need to take them.”
What the Mustangs need is to be more offensive … and vocal.