That’s perhaps the best way to describe Stone Mountain’s climb back to relevance this season.
The Lady Pirates went 2-1 last week, giving themselves a 7-11 overall record heading into this week’s slate of games.
Coach Stanley Clark’s message remained the same: “Just be patient — it’ll come.”
“It’s a process; we can’t skip any steps,” said Clark. “First, we’ve gotta learn how to play … then play as a team … then make [opposing teams] do what we want them to do.”
The Lady Pirates are eyeing a return trip to the GHSA state tournament after having missed out on the part last season.
With the Region 6-AAAA tourney only two weeks away, Clark anticipates that his young squad will finish the regular season at .500. From that point, only a few league rivals will stand in the way of their ultimate objective.
Stone Mountain has the talent to make the kind of noise necessary to qualify for the big dance, with experience and on-court savvy being acquired along the way.
The Lady Pirates are anchored by a program all-time great in senior combo guard Danielle Clark. The team captain, her high level of production in virtually all offensive categories and her status as a dynamic defender have kept the team competitive — as has the continued ascendance of a trio of junior post players.
Shayla Brewton is averaging a double-double, kicking in 10 points to go with 10 boards per contest. Fellow small forward Satorri Hines is also putting the ball in the basket with regularity, while 6 foot 2 power forward Megan Bass is pulling down nearly 10 rebounds per game. In addition to their contributions, classmate Ne-Tia Jackson is also starting to come into her own at the point guard position.
The Lady Pirates have had to dial back their coach’s preferred style of pressure defense to counter being beaten off the dribble and will have to vastly improve upon their free throw shooting. All in all, though, the team’s trajectory has insiders hopeful of good things to come.
“We’ll get it right,” the coach said. “It’ll just take us a little time, that’s all.”