Last year the Greenland Lady Pirates surprised the 3A when they won their second straight state title. This year they are everyone’s target.
“Defending state champions last two years in a row, target on our back and on our chest,” said Greenland girls head coach Alan Barton. “I believe the girls understand what the girls are up against.”
It’s not easy being the team everyone wants to beat, something coach Barton tries to prepare his team for.
“We have the freshman that have moved up and they are helping us in practice and they put the pressure on us and we just go from there,” said senior Anna Rogers. “Sometimes he (Barton) throws in seven players on the floor against us five. Anything to make us better.”
The Lady Pirates may lack a large senior class with only two on the team, but those two are all they need.
“One is the offensive leader and one is the defensive leader,” said Barton. “They are me on the court, they know exactly what we want to (do). Jenny makes sure the defense is right and Anna makes sure we get in offenses.”
“You have to lead on and off the floor,” said senior Jenny Riggles. “In the locker room, make sure everybody is focused, get them game ready. On the floor make sure everybody playing their roles, doing what they know is right. At school, in the hallways, make sure they’re not late to class, make sure their grades are on point.”
Their motto is one game at a time and Barton expects a lot from his girls. Some may say he’s fiery and harsh but the girls know otherwise.
“I wouldn’t want it any other way honestly,” said Riggles. “He helps us play to our potential.”
“I’d rather him yell at us than sit there and be quiet,” said Rogers. “With his yelling we just take that as fuel to stimulate our fire.”
Greenland goes into the regional tournament at Elkins this week as the No. 1 seed.