WSA’s Lady Panthers varsity basketball team has been working hard on the court this season.
Although they have had successful seasons in the past, this year’s team has proven that they are ready to hold on to their winning record. Currently, the team stands at a 10-7 with three games to go before districts.
West Side shares its team with students from the Detroit School of Arts. Junior Raven Jackson, one of the students who travels to WSA to play ball, is one of the top three scorers for the Panthers, along with sophomore Sancia Johnson and junior Keyona Battles.
Johnson feels that the team has been a second family for her.
“We can talk to each other about anything,” she said. “No matter how hard we fall off, our captains, Lashaunta Oliver and Alexis Crawford, always get us on point.”
Coach DeVon Chupp sees the potential in the team and has been building them up over the course of the past few seasons. Along the way, there have been some challenges that have gotten in the way.
“There tend to be personal things that can become distractions at practice,” Chupp said. “Sometimes it can be family problem or boyfriend issues. The biggest problem that we had to face as a team was getting the girls to give 100% at practice.”
Keeping that in mind, Chupp also focuses on all the positive changes he has seen in his team over the course of the season.
“This year we have doubled up on our wins. Last year, the girls were 5-12. They are really starting to work together as a team,” said Chupp.
Chupp cited the team’s PSL playoff win against Davis Aerospace as the highlight of the season. “The girls were really passing the ball and taking things seriously,” said Chupp.
With only one graduating senior, Lashaunta Oliver, the team is young and may be heading towards more years of success.