PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - Eleven games into the season, the Pass Christian girls basketball team has already surpassed plenty of expectations, including those of their head coach Greta Ainsworth.
“Honestly, I didn’t think we’d be 11-0 right now. I really didn’t," Ainsworth said. "I looked at my schedule, honestly, and I thought ‘we could go 0-6 very quickly.’”
Would she say their start is a pleasant surprise?
“It is a very pleasant surprise,” Ainsworth said with a smile. “Very pleasant.”
The Lady Pirates have stormed out of the gates in 2018, winning each of their first 11 games, with eight of those victories coming over Class 6A squads.
“We all have the same goal," senior guard Emory Benoit said. "We want to go to the Big House. We want to win district, so we basically work hard.”
“We’re playing for the same goal," senior guard Cayla Obillo agreed. "We all understand our goal, and we’re gonna make this goal as a family.”
That ‘family’ mentality exists throughout the team, both figuratively and literally. Just ask assistant coach Breanna Halley, who reports to Coach Ainsworth, otherwise known as “Mom.”
“Well, she’s not afraid to tell me when she thinks I’m wrong, and that’s the best part of it," Ainsworth laughed. "She’s not afraid to offer advice and, and her advice is usually very, very good.”
Does their back-and-forth ever carry over outside of the gym?
“Oh, of course. Of course," Halley said with a smile. "All of our conversations, actually. Everywhere we go. My husband gets in on it and my dad’s just like ‘okay, I’m so tired of this.’”
Playful banter aside, the duo wouldn’t trade a single second of their time together for anything.
As we reported back in February, Halley survived breast cancer, only to then see it spread to her liver and spine. However, the the prognosis has greatly improved in the months since.
“There’s definitely a big relief," Halley said. "Every day is a different day. Some days I have energy, some days I don’t, but they keep me going for sure.”
“I thank God every night that she’s able to sit beside me in those games," Ainsworth said. "She’s a big part of what we do. She contributes a great deal, and the kids look for her every day.”
And so, as the season continues, the Lady Pirates will have no shortage of inspiration to continue their winning ways.
“Coach actually reminds us every day that we have this big target on our backs, and people are looking to take us out," Obillo said. "We have to be on our A-game and not take any team lightly.”