To quote Maumelle Coach Rodney Gilmore, last week was horrible for the Lady Hornets.
With the flu bug hitting them, the Lady Hornets weren’t up to par and suffered defeats to Pottsville and Mena last Tuesday and Friday, respectively. The Mena contest was disappointing as Maumelle (3-11, 2-7 4A-4) defeated the Lady Bearcats the first time around.
"The young girls were healthy enough to withstand Mena," Gilmore said. "I told them, though, you can never underestimate your opponent, but they did just that."
With a team comprised of only four upperclassmen, Gilmore has experienced the ups and downs of a young team. Against Pottsville, the Lady Hornets had to play without senior center Morgan Fimpel, who was out with the flu. Fimpel was not full strength at Mena.
"Right now, I’m just bracket looking (for district tournament)," Gilmore said. "We are not in a bad position, but we are not in a good position either. It’s still up for grabs."
Even though Maumelle suffered setbacks last week, Gilmore was able to lend his expertise to Hornet Coach Michael Shook and the Hornet team. After a contest at Pottsville last week with several distractions, Shook had a team meeting and went to Gilmore for advice and guidance. One of the Hornets’ goals is to make the state finals, and Gilmore did that with the Stuttgart boys’ team in 2009 as an assistant coach.
"He talked to us about what happens at the state finals and what a team does," Shook said. "He told us about the shoot around and getting your picture taken with the runner-up and championship trophy. It got me excited, and I could tell it did the guys, too."
Gilmore was more than happy to share his knowledge and experiences. One thing Shook and Gilmore do is work together for the good of the Maumelle basketball program, not just the boys and girls.
"I’ve been there and done that," Gilmore said. "I told them situations will come up, and they have to stick together as a team if they want a chance to go to Hot Springs. I know what it takes to get there, and it is a feeling you never forget."
Gilmore and Shook have a lot of conversations and share a lot. Shook asks Gilmore for guidance since it is his first head coaching job while Gilmore has been coaching for a long time.
"I’m an old soldier, and he is a young pup," Gilmore said. "I’ll always be there for him and him for me. We have a wonderful basketball relationship."
Maumelle was supposed to host Dover for senior night on Tuesday but that game was postponed. A make-up date won’t be set until today. Friday, the Lady Hornets travel to Booneville.