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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

January 31, 2015 08:09 GMT

Latest Scores; upcoming games

NBA

Friday's Games

Philadelphia 103, Minnesota 94

Atlanta 105, Portland 99

Houston 93, Boston 87

Toronto 127, Brooklyn 122, OT

Cleveland 101, Sacramento 90

New Orleans 108, L.A. Clippers 103

Dallas 93, Miami 72

Utah 110, Golden State 100

Phoenix 99, Chicago 93

Saturday's Games

Toronto at Washington, 7 p.m.

Dallas at Orlando, 7 p.m.

Sacramento at Indiana, 7 p.m.

Philadelphia at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.

Houston at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.

Oklahoma City at Memphis, 8 p.m.

Cleveland at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Portland at Milwaukee, 8:30 p.m.

Charlotte at Denver, 9 p.m.

L.A. Clippers at San Antonio, 9 p.m.

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

TOP 25 MEN'S BASKETBALL

Friday's Game

( 6) Arizona 57, Oregon State 34

Saturday's Games

( 1) Kentucky vs. Alabama, 7 p.m.

( 2) Virginia vs. ( 4) Duke, 7 p.m.

( 3) Gonzaga vs. Memphis, 10 p.m.

( 5) Wisconsin at Iowa, Noon

( 7) Villanova at DePaul, 2 p.m.

( 8) Notre Dame at Pittsburgh, Noon

( 9) Kansas vs. Kansas State, 2 p.m.

(10) Louisville vs. (13) North Carolina, 7 p.m.

(12) Wichita State at (18) Northern Iowa, 4 p.m.

(14) VCU vs. Richmond, 2 p.m.

(15) Iowa State vs. TCU, 2 p.m.

(17) West Virginia vs. Texas Tech, Noon

(19) Texas at (20) Baylor, 6 p.m.

(21) Georgetown at Creighton, 2 p.m.

(22) Indiana vs. Rutgers, 3:15 p.m.

(24) Oklahoma at Oklahoma State, 8 p.m.

(25) Butler at Marquette, 2 p.m.

NHL

Friday's Games

St. Louis 3, Carolina 2, SO

Pittsburgh 2, New Jersey 1, OT

Colorado 3, Nashville 0

Vancouver 5, Buffalo 2

Chicago 4, Anaheim 1

Saturday's Games

Washington at Montreal, 1 p.m.

N.Y. Islanders at Detroit, 2 p.m.

Arizona at Ottawa, 3 p.m.

Dallas at Winnipeg, 7 p.m.

Toronto at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

Carolina at N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m.

Florida at New Jersey, 7 p.m.

Los Angeles at Boston, 7 p.m.

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

Edmonton at Calgary, 10 p.m.

Chicago at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.

TOP 25 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Friday's Games

( 9) Florida St. 82, Georgia Tech 62

(11) Arizona St. 68, Colorado 60

(19) Princeton 96, Harvard 46

Saturday's Games

( 7) Oregon State vs. Southern Cal, 5:30 p.m.

(12) Stanford vs. Washington State, 3:30 p.m.

(19) Princeton at Dartmouth, 6 p.m.

(25) Chattanooga vs. Mercer, 3 p.m.

NFL

Friday-Saturday

No games scheduled

Sunday - Super Bowl

New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks at Glendale, Ariz., 6:30 p.m.

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Longhorn Football News

 

KEYE-TV Sports Team


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