Destrehan's Lady Cats basketball team played a smart game against the Lady Patriots and accomplished another win, beating them with a score of 43-41.
The score is truly not indicative of the Lady Cats performance on the court. They controlled the ball and dominated the game, going into the half with a score of 26-17.
Destrehan's team is unique in its coaching, its game plan and particularly its players. Shanna and Shunna Richard, who are twins, are point guards for this determined team, and have played for Destrehan since their freshman year. The twins can be found at any given game very persistent on the floor at both ends of the court. "They can be double trouble and sometimes confusing to their opponent," said Coach Frontha.
The twins have played basketball since the age of five. Their love of basketball comes from their mother. Both girls played recreation ball in St. Charles Parish as well as in the AAU Summer League.
"These young ladies came to me with high expectations" said coach Frontha. "They came with a good knowledge of the game." Both Frontha and the twins credit Coach Noel Smith, who coached them at Hurst Middle School. "She gave them a strong foundation," said Coach Frontha. As well, the twin's mother played an instrumental role in making sure they developed the game in skill and stamina. She insisted that they practice, and provided the opportunities and support that helped to develop their internal drive to be the best. "I can remember them calling me to open the gym, just so they could practice their shooting," said coach Frontha. This happened three or four times a week.
"It's hard to talk about them individually, because they are so much alike," Frontha reflects. Both have high expectations, both want to do well, and both want their team to make it to the state championship.
However, on the court there is a difference. Shanna is usually in control on offense and Shunna in control on defense. In fact, Shunna leads the team in steals. Shanna has the ability to see the floor and what's open. Shanna steps up as a leader on the floor. Shunna loves the whole idea of team ball. Both girls are smart players, which really helps out in tight games.
"It is really fun playing with each other on the court," Shunna said. "People always ask can we see each other without looking, do you know she's there?" said Shanna. "We tell them yes!" agreed the twins.
"Coach Frontha is very patient and consistent with us," said the twins. "He has helped us take our game to the next level," shared the twins. "He taught us the mental game and how to problem solve on the court, said Shanna. When the girl's are on the court and the coach needs to make a change, he just yells "twin" and one of them will walk over to him. His relationship with them and all of his players has proven to be an important part of the winning equation. "We enjoy playing with this team, we are close and therefore we play well together," said the twins.
Shanna credits Coach Frontha with having a good knowledge of his players. "He tells us to calm down, when our game is off," said Shanna. "I have confidence in my players' ability," said Frontha. Between being able to look to their mom and hearing their coach's words of encouragement, the twins have mastered the joy of playing basketball.
Shunna is averaging about 10 points a game and Shanna is averaging about 12 points a game. The twins are graduating seniors who are taking advanced college courses at Destrehan.
Their advice for those incoming freshmen who want to play is to stick with the first year. That year is rough, but it gets better and there are lots of skills to learn and lots of fun to be had.
|Photo Taken by Pat Smith|
|Destrehanís Double Trouble: Shunna and Shanna Richards.|