Anahuac High boys’ basketball coach Benjamin West is preaching patience this season.
With just one win in their first nine games, the young Panthers are being forced to learn on the job as they prepare for district play.
“We’re taking our lumps right now, but I believe our day is coming again,” West told Texas Scorecard. “We’ve got to learn better practice habits, but I tell my guys as long as they’re having fun and playing hard we’ll get where we’re going.”
Versatile freshmen Terrell Cargo and Zion Clark, both of whom play all five positions, give West reason for optimism over the long haul.
The 6-foot-2 Cargo is one of the team’s best ballhandlers, while the 6-foot-3 Clark is the team’s second best scorer.
“Both of them have a chance to be really top-notch players, they just need more experience,” said West, whose roster for the most part is filled with freshmen and sophomores.
Senior guard Corenthos Hill leads the Panthers at 15 points per game and senior forward Alex Smith chips in with 12.
“Right now, we’re just not consistent enough and a lot of that has to do with our youth and inexperience and the fact this is the first varsity experience for so many of our guys,” West added.
But after 18 seasons of coaching, the last 11 of them at Anahuac, West knows the look of a winner. He’s led the Panthers to the regional finals before and deep into the playoffs several more times.
“We’ve got the talent to get there again,” he said. “I can see the improvement. Over time, the fact that we play in the hardest district in the state will also make us better. We just need to keep working, keep grinding and keep believing.”