INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Head coach Neumann Marlett established what may be considered a modest goal for his St. Ed’s varsity girls basketball team going into the final week of the regular season: double-digit wins.
But would he run out of games to play, or run out of players to put out on the court?
That modest goal was double digits wins, and it seemed within reach when the Lady Pirates were an even 7-7 with four more games to go prior to the district playoffs this week.
Time was running out, but so were the number of girls he had to call upon. Attrition had pared the original roster of 10 down to a gritty bunch of seven.
All seven girls were available and contributed points in a 50-19 victory over Pope John Paul on Jan. 22.
As usual, the heavy lifting was done by twin sisters Tyiesha and Myiesha McLendon. The junior guards combined for 35 of the 50 points, about on par with their usual ratio.
Marlett was encouraged that the rest of the scoring was evenly distributed among the other players. That was something he hoped would develop during the season.
Holy Trinity Episcopal provided the challenge on Senior Night, Jan. 24. In a game that was there for the taking, an injury to a very key player may have done in the home team.
St. Ed’s was trailing by 1 point late in the third period when leading scorer Tyiesha McLendon (11 points) was forced to the bench to ice down an ankle.
That surely tipped the scales in favor of the victorious Tigers. //Myiesha McLendon and Danielle Pierone added 9 each, but it wasn’t enough in a 41-37 defeat.
It’s not entirely accurate to cite a lack of depth in this one, but the road team did have twice as many players suited-up and available for duty late in the game.
After a weather related cancellation, the team was 8-8 with a trip to Treasure Coast topping off the regular season schedule.
The District 13-2A tournament opened Feb. 1 versus King’s Academy.
The number of wins and players notwithstanding, this was a year in which the new head coach found some critically substantive items to be satisfied about.
“I’m very pleased with the overall effort the girls have been giving game in and game out,” Marlett said.
Then again, sometimes there seems to be a lid on the basket.
“Missed shots,” Marlett lamented, shaking his head. “In several close games we’ve had the right people taking the right shots, and we just missed them.”
Marlett is already forging ahead with plans for next year. A huge part of that involves the twins.
“They are very competitive and want to win and I want to push them to the next level. I ride them because I want them to be the best they can be.”
Sophomore Marie McCarron, freshman Sophia Castraberti and eighth grader Maggie McGuire all logged playing time that will pay off for next year.”