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Eastside Finds Its Direction

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 09:47 PM CDT
Rhonda Barton grew up around basketball. Literally. Hoosiers, the iconic hoops movie, was filmed in her high school's gym. But Barton's basketball life has gone in a whole new direction at Eastside Memorial High School.

"I came in pretty fresh, pretty naive," said Barton, who also teaches biology.

Now in her second season as the Panthers head coach, Barton's practices usually consist of just five or six girls.

"We're on offense, and there's nobody to defend us," said Eastside freshman Angel Flores-Medellin. "We have to imagine it."

And you know how the cliche goes. You practice how you play. At Eastside Memorial, they practice shorthanded. They play shorthanded. More often than not, they come up on the short end of the scoreboard.

"We've definitely learned about courage," said Lady Panthers point guard Juanita Castillo. "We definitely have been humbled."

The Lady Panthers have won just two games in two years. But despite their terrible record, Eastside continues to take the floor. Even though the wins don't come, fans do. Even if they don't have much in common with the players, especially not DNA.

"I don't think they need sympathy," said Bryn McNamee-Tweed, a member of the Lady Panthers fan club who also assists at practice. "I think they need voices and they want people to cheer them on."

Last year, despite zero connection to Eastside Memorial, this group started a fan club to support the girls basketball team. They don't miss a game.

"It takes a special person to be willing to be on the losing end over and over again and keep showing up," said Sheri Gallo, who helps organize the fan club. "I thank them for the influence they have in my life."

At times, the Lady Panthers have finished games with just four players. Even at full strength - they've lost 67-to-6 and 53-to-9. Nobody would blame Eastside if they just gave up. But you can't put a full court press on character.

"We are the ones that show we have the courage, we have the strength," said Lady Panthers guard Lex Davis. "I mean look at us, we are still here. Even if it's just four of us, we are still here fighting to the end."

"It takes a lot of courage to get out there when you're getting beat by sixty points," said Coach Barton. "Hands down they have a lot of heart. I would never be disappointed in them."

Barton's career may have taken her out of the homeland of Hoosiers, and this team may not deliver a Hollywood ending - but for the fans and the players, it's a story worth telling.Eastside Finds Its Direction


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Scores & Schedules

March 30, 2015 07:12 GMT

NCAA MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Sunday's Scores

No. 7 Michigan State 76, No. 4 Louisville 70

No. 1 Duke 66, No. 2 Gonzaga 52

Monday's Schedule

No games scheduled

FINAL FOUR

Saturday, April 4

Michigan State (27-11) vs. Duke (33-4), 6:09 p.m.

Kentucky (38-0) vs. Wisconsin (35-3), 8:49 p.m.

National Championship Monday, April 6

Semifinal winners

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Sunday's Scores

Houston 99, Washington 91

Brooklyn 107, L.A. Lakers 99

New Orleans 110, Minnesota 88

Cleveland 87, Philadelphia 86

Miami 109, Detroit 102

L.A. Clippers 119, Boston 106

San Antonio 103, Memphis 89

Indiana 104, Dallas 99

Oklahoma City 109, Phoenix 97

Monday's Schedule

L.A. Lakers at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

Boston at Charlotte, 7 p.m.

Milwaukee at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.

Houston at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

Sacramento at Memphis, 8 p.m.

Utah at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Phoenix at Portland, 10 p.m.

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Sunday's Scores

Pittsburgh 3, San Jose 2, SO

Washington 5, N.Y. Rangers 2

Florida 4, Ottawa 2

N.Y. Islanders 5, Detroit 4

Boston 2, Carolina 1, OT

Calgary 5, Nashville 2

Anaheim 2, New Jersey 1

Chicago 4, Winnipeg 3

Monday's Schedule

Tampa Bay at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Vancouver at St. Louis, 8 p.m.

Los Angeles at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.

Calgary at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

Edmonton at Colorado, 9 p.m.

Buffalo at Arizona, 10 p.m.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL - SPRING TRAINING

Sunday's Scores

Pittsburgh 4, Atlanta 2

Philadelphia 4, Detroit 4, tie

N.Y. Mets 3, St. Louis 2

Minnesota 6, Baltimore (ss) 5

Washington 11, Miami 7

Boston 3, Tampa Bay 2, 10 innings

N.Y. Yankees 7, Houston 0

Baltimore (ss) 4, Toronto 2

Cincinnati 8, L.A. Angels 6

L.A. Dodgers (ss) 10, Texas 5

Chicago Cubs 7, Kansas City 0

Chicago White Sox 4, Cleveland 1

Oakland 7, Milwaukee 0

San Francisco 11, L.A. Dodgers (ss) 9

San Diego 8, Seattle 5

Colorado 11, Arizona 10, 10 innings

Colorado 2, Arizona 1

Monday's Schedule

Baltimore vs. Tampa Bay at Port Charlotte, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Washington vs. St. Louis at Jupiter, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Atlanta vs. Detroit at Lakeland, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh at Bradenton, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Miami vs. N.Y. Mets at Port St. Lucie, Fla., 1:10 p.m.

Colorado vs. Oakland at Mesa, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

Cleveland vs. Chicago White Sox at Glendale, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

San Francisco vs. Chicago Cubs at Mesa, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

San Diego vs. Cincinnati at Goodyear, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

L.A. Angels vs. Seattle at Peoria, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

Kansas City vs. Texas at Surprise, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

L.A. Dodgers vs. Arizona at Scottsdale, Ariz., 4:10 p.m.

Toronto vs. Houston at Kissimmee, Fla., 6:05 p.m.

Minnesota vs. Boston at Fort Myers, Fla., 7:05 p.m.

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KEYE-TV Sports Team


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