Coach Prouty wants St. John to turn it up in January
Hard work and determination are paying off for the St. John Lady Eagle basketball team, and it's happening at the right time.
The Lady Eagles improved to 7-4 after a 61-43 win against Maurepas in non-district fare.
A record north of the .500 mark before district season itself represents the progress the team has made since last season, head coach and St. John alumnus Cynthia Prouty said.
"The losses we had haven't been lopsided, and one of the things we've focused on this season is that if we lose, we should at least lose competitively," she said. "I'm very proud of what these girls have done thus far."
The 2019-20 Lady Eagles do not have a shortage of talent.
Jnyira Kelly, a 5-9 sophomore, has already made a lasting mark in the program. She surpassed the 1,000-point mark as a freshman and continues to progress.
"She's amazing, she works hard, she's easy to coach, and fast," Prouty said.
Kelly was sidelined with an injury two weeks ago, which would normally trigger a setback.
Instead, it showed what Prouty what other players bring to the table.
"Now that she's injured, we've seen five or six players scoring every game, so when we get her back, we will be that much better," she said. "Our fate is not just on her shoulders."
Isabella Lobue and Kaitlyn Glaser have also made their mark on the program this season.
"On the court, Isabella keeps the team grounded, and when the game is on the line, I trust Isabella with the ball because she's a very good outside shooter," Prouty said.
"She gets better and better at handling pressure.
"She's only 5-5, but she works extremely hard and her work ethic is a step above the opponent.," she said.
Glaser shares the position as point guard and has figured as a dominant 3-point shooter. She netted five shots from 3-point range in action against Maurepas.
"She's our defensive specialist," Prouty said. "If I need to box in an opponent, I put her at point guard."
After a fourth place showing in District 8-1A fare last season, Prouty has high hopes that the Lady Eagles will be more competitive this season.
State playoff perennials White Castle and East Iberville will continue as the dominant district foes, but Prouty expects her players to make a stronger showing that last year.
She also has high hopes that they can prevail over Ascension Christian and Ascension Catholic.
"Ascension Christian lost some players from last season and we've already beaten Ascension Catholic, although they are getting better," Prouty said. "Lately, our opponents have not been all that strong, but January and February will be really hard – probably three games a week – and it's full of competition. We will have to turn things up a notch."