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North girls hoops need to develop confidence

December 19, 2018
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

At halftime of the North Fort Myers High School girls basketball game against Charlotte last week, assistant coach Brad Branson watched his team warm up for the second half.

What they needed, he said, was a dose of self-confidence.

"We are not this bad," Branson said. "When we play with confidence, we're much better. That's been the problem. Getting them to believe in themselves."

Article Photos

North Fort Myers High School girls basketball player Corrin Murphy readies to play defense during a game last week against Charlotte.


That has pretty much been the tale of this team that has started the season 3-6.

When they are confident and playing a team they should beat, they do. When they play a team like Charlotte, it can be a challenge - the Red Knights scored a total of nine points.

North head coach Stephanie Rael said getting them to believe has been the main issue this year.

"Charlotte is really disciplined and we just beat ourselves and let their discipline get in our heads," Rael said.

It was a stark contrast to their game last week against Ida Baker which they won 59-40.

Rael said it all comes down to mindset.

"When they have their minds in the game and are focused and believe in themselves, they can make a lot of things happen," Rael said. "They play as a team, look for the open shots and work the ball.

"We let that intimidation factor fill in and took us away from our game. We really have a good team, it's just the confidence we're having trouble filling in our girls," Rael said. "Once they realize that, they will see what they can really do."

One of the bright spots in the Charlotte game was senior captain Taylor Mara. She said the team had practiced passing, but that was not enough once Charlotte started to press.

"Confidence is our biggest issue. You can be the best team in Lee County, but if you don't have the right mental attitude, it won't show on the court," Mara said.

Hopefully, things look like they are turning around a little bit for the Red Knights.

They recovered from that game by defeating South Fort Myers on Wednesday, a team that had won its last three games, 48-36.



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