The Chris Parsons Project: How Palmyra Lady Panther Basketball got its groove back...


As of Tuesday Night, the Palmyra Lady Panthers are officially your 2013 Clarence Cannon Conference Champs....

Which as Ross Green details is quite an impressive turnaround for a team that opened under new management and looked someone disjointed way back in December...

If you want to rise to the top, you've got to know what it feels like to get knocked down first. Its something the Palmyra Lady Panthers learned in their first 7 games this season, enduring a stretch that included losses to Bowling Green, Monroe City, QND, and Unity.

"We knew it was a tough schedule coming in, and you're always hoping to come out of there better than 3-4, but that's how we came out. From that point on, we realized after that Unity game that we had to find our team identity,"

They've found that identity, alright. Meet the team that nobody wants to play. Palmyra has won 16 times in its last 17 outings, making that 3-4 start feel like something of a very distant past.

"I think we're finally believing that we can make it, and we're just really focused, and I think we have a lot of confidence,"

"Coach always says confidence is key, and it really helps that he lets us shoot a lot and that its not just defense - its both sides of the floor,"

Confidence has allowed for major strides to be made. After Tuesday night, Palmyra guaranteed itself an outright conference title.

"It is a big deal. Its been one of our goals since the very beginning of the season: conference and districts, those are our 2 goals,"

"We had to look for some goals that may not have been reached in a while, and we looked at winning the conference outright. They've split some conference titles here in the past but we want to run this table, we want to go 9-0, that was definitely a goal of ours, and also trying to get to that 20-win plateau,"

One goal down, one to go. The entire roster has learned how to get back up after stumbling. Collectively, that's proven difficult for opponents to topple.

"I see that we're playing more like a team lately and it just keeps getting better,"

"Its okay if you don't score the most because we know that our teammates are going to come and pick us up because we've come together as a team,"

"It helps that we have 4 seniors and the juniors just jumped right in. We're one big family,"

They're a family that knows 7 games don't make a season, something Palmyra continues to prove.

"These girls may not have had that overall killer instinct, but I think now we're getting teams down. We want to finish the game, and I think we're seeing that. If we get behind or have a chance of losing a game, we get very frustrated and they want to finish what they've started,"