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Eastside Finds Its Direction

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 10:47 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

December 22, 2014 08:06 GMT

NFL

Thursday's Game

Jacksonville 21, Tennessee 13

Saturday's Games

Washington 27, Philadelphia 24

San Diego 38, San Francisco 35, OT

Sunday's Games

Houston 25, Baltimore 13

Detroit 20, Chicago 14

Atlanta 30, New Orleans 14

Miami 37, Minnesota 35

Carolina 17, Cleveland 13

Green Bay 20, Tampa Bay 3

Pittsburgh 20, Kansas City 12

New England 17, N.Y. Jets 16

N.Y. Giants 37, St. Louis 27

Oakland 26, Buffalo 24

Dallas 42, Indianapolis 7

Seattle 35, Arizona 6

Monday's Game

Denver at Cincinnati, 8:30 p.m.

NBA

Sunday's Games

Toronto 118, New York 108

Cleveland 105, Memphis 91

Sacramento 108, L.A. Lakers 101

Phoenix 104, Washington 92

Miami 100, Boston 84

Philadelphia 96, Orlando 88

Brooklyn 110, Detroit 105

New Orleans 101, Oklahoma City 99

Indiana 100, Minnesota 96

Monday's Games

Denver at Charlotte, 7 p.m.

Toronto at Chicago, 8 p.m.

Portland at Houston, 8 p.m.

Utah at Memphis, 8 p.m.

Atlanta at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

L.A. Clippers at San Antonio, 8:30 p.m.

Sacramento at Golden State, 10:30 p.m.

NHL

Sunday's Games

Colorado 2, Detroit 1, SO

Dallas 6, Edmonton 5, SO

Boston 4, Buffalo 3, OT

N.Y. Rangers 1, Carolina 0

Chicago 4, Toronto 0

Philadelphia 4, Winnipeg 3, OT

Monday's Games

Ottawa at Washington, 7 p.m.

Nashville at Columbus, 7 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Florida, 7:30 p.m.

Arizona at Vancouver, 10 p.m.

San Jose at Anaheim, 10 p.m.

Calgary at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.

Longhorn Football Scoreboard

Longhorn Football News

 

KEYE-TV Sports Team


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