AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Sitting third in their district with a 5-4 record, and just three games above .500 in their overall record, the Lady Randall Raiders have been playing the last few weeks according to a mandate: Focus on the here and now.
Coach Booke Walthall needs her team to play that way, because it’s the only way she knows how to compete. Worry about the past and mistakes will haunt you. Worry too much about the future, and concentration in current games will fade. In a tight district that has two of the top teams in the entire state of Texas (Amarillo and Monterey), Walthall wants her team to just go 1-0 every day.
With the team taking on the Lubbock Cooper Pirates in a tough, should-win matchup, the Raiders can theoretically keep pushing up the leaderboard, protecting their lead in third place. There’s not much hope taking down Amarillo (10-0, 26-2) and Monterey (9-1, 25-3), but in a situation where the top four teams make the playoffs from each district, Randall can easily control its own destiny.
The Cooper Pirates are one team that is in that middle of the pack spot, and a win over the Pirates would further give cushion to Randall.
The wins only come when they practice every day and try to focus on themselves, plus what they need to work on that moment.
“You know, we gotta live in the moment,” Walthall said. “We say what’s important now and right now, we have to have a good practice and a good shoot around to get ready and go play Cooper tonight. And yes, you know, you see the big picture and you want to go win the next five, six, seven games, but we gotta focus on tonight. One possession at a time, so as a coach, you know, and it’s in the back of your mind, that you’re really trying to focus on one thing at a time.”
Walthall, the daughter of current Tascosa Lady Rebels Head Coach Betsy Baughman, is a big fan of hustle. She’s not worried about constantly playing full-court press like so many other teams in the Panhandle. She wants Randall to be its own team, and play its own style.
This is something that will be tested not just tonight, but also Friday when they host Coronado, another near .500 team.