Bastrop Lady Rams Preview
For the first time since the turn of the century, the Bastrop Lady Rams have a new basketball coach.
First-year coach Gerline Guillaume, who was hired following the retirement of Emma Brooks, is still learning the personnel.
"The kids are still learning my style, and I'm still learning each kid," Guillaume said. "My desire and goal is to learn their strengths so I can give them the best opportunity to succeed."
Injuries to the only two returning starters — guards Star Johnson and Javia Kennedy — took their toll as the Lady Rams struggled to a 10-13 mark last season.
Kennedy, a first-team All-District 2-4A honoree as a sophomore, never stepped on the floor after suffering a torn ACL.
Guillaume is counting heavily on a healthy Kennedy and guard Casual Williams, another senior guard.
"I have been impressed with Javia. To be coming off of a knee injury, she has really looked good," Guillaume said. "Javia and Casual Williams have been real solid for us."
Tiffany Washington, Destiny Neblett, Jamese Rabun and TyDeijah Minnieweather all return with a year of experience.
"I'm looking for Tiffany Washington to do great things for us at the 3 guard," Guillaume said.
Bastrop made its first preseason scrimmage Tuesday in a scrimmage at Epps. As expected, Guillaume saw room for improvement.
"Honestly, this feels like a new team," Guillaume said. "The team is young. I am trying to get them to be a little more aggressive. I am looking for discipline and accountability. I want them to be well-grounded as far as understanding what we are doing, and I expect them to play hard on both sides of the court."
Guillaume has been pleased with the Lady Rams' work ethic during the preseason.
"I can say this about our kids — they're coachable," Guillaume said. "We're all doing something different, which makes the kids uncomfortable and me uncomfortable as a coach. But it's an opportunity for them to grow, and an opportunity for me to grow as a coach. I have been real impressed with our kids. They want to learn and get better. It's a great group."
Bastrop will likely run a four guard offensive system to suit its personnel.
Power forward Chyberia Wilson and 6-2 center Mia Hardin are the only players on the roster whose talents are best suited for the front court.
"Mia Hardin is our only true center," Guillaume said. "I'm looking for her to give us a spark."
Also in the mix for playing time are guards Martianna Johnson, Destiny Cephus, Cynthia Washington, Trinity Norwood and Amber Gains.
Bastrop will host Sterlington in a girls/boys preseason scrimmage Monday, Oct. 30.