Sherman, Lady ‘Dores know more about each other

johnshermanJohn Sherman’s first summer as the head coach of the Lafayette High Lady Commodores produced some memorable moments on the basketball court.

After officially being named as the replacement to Amy Sutton on June 2, Sherman got his returning group organized and into practice scenarios. The Lady Commodores played a total of nine games during the summer before taking a break Tuesday, until school starts in August.

Sherman said he saw some good and some bad during June and into July. Before the break, he had a tryout with 16 players taking part. Lafayette played summer games at Oxford, Ole Miss and Ingomar.

“We got nine games in, which I thought was good considering that we didn’t start (practicing) until the second week of June,” Sherman said. “We played four games in one day at Ole Miss. I don’t think they handled the fourth game very well, and I don’t think I handled them not handling it very well. Even though I knew they were tired, allowing them to quit because they were tired wasn’t going to happen.”

Playing four games in a day produced adversity, which allowed Sherman to understand his roster a lot better moving forward.

“They pretty much know me now as well. They’ve seen the good and the bad of me,” Sherman said. “After our fourth game at Ole Miss, we were tired, and I didn’t handle it very well so I was tickled that they all showed back up on Monday. That kind of let me know they can take some of the stuff I dish out.

“The summer games let you see the good and the bad,” he continued. “You see who likes to win. I guess the old phrase, ‘When the going gets tough, who gets tough? And who backs off?’ All of it wasn’t pretty. At times, I saw that we had some perseverance, and at times, we did quit.”

The final set of summer games were played at Ingomar against the likes of South Pontotoc and Pontotoc, a program that won the 2013 Class 4A state championship.

Against South Pontotoc, the Lady Commodores kept fighting and fighting to stay in the contest.

“We were down the whole game and just basically getting beat the whole game,” Sherman said. “We kept plugging along and plugging along and stayed within striking distance, and then in the last minute, we turned it on. We got a few steals, made a few shots. We got the ball back with six seconds to go, and the game tied up. We made a half-court shot at the buzzer to get the win. That just helped everything. No matter when you do that—in the summer, for a championship, during the season—if you hit a half-court shot at the buzzer to get the win, that’s just a feel-good moment.”

In the matchup with Pontotoc, which came right after the dramatic win, Sherman told his girls to play as hard as they could.

“My thing was (to) see where we stand with them. They’re a championship program,” Sherman said. “It’s in the summer and let’s see where we stand this summer—right now, today—and how we measure up with them and see how we stack up against a team that has won a state championship and was in the finals last year.

“We got down double digits, but we ended up getting beat single digits. That was not a bad measuring stick,” Sherman added. “I was somewhat pleased with how we kept battling and how we kept playing until the end. We’ve got some talented young girls. This program has been a good program. You don’t have to completely start over, which was not the case in the last program I was at. That was starting at the most complete bottom.”

About John Davis

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