PALMYRA, Mo. (WGEM) -- For the Palmyra girls basketball team the change for the better came in mid-December following a two-point loss to Unity.
Since then the Lady Panthers have lost all of one game and now have a district championship to their credit.
"I think from that point on the girls started to trust us as coaches," first year head coach Chris Parsons said of the setback in Mendon.
"When they started to trust us as coaches they saw it would work as a team. I think, all in all, we've built this together."
Palmyra is blessed. They have offensive and defensive weapons everywhere you turn.
The team's versatility and depth has keyed their success.
"It's not just one person, it's the entire team you have to stop," junior guard Katee Hinkle said. "That's really hard for any team to do."
Parson credits the entire roster for the Lady Panthers run to the Sweet 16 in Class 3.
"From top to bottom, from number one to 14 sitting on our bench, the girls that have been here all season I think we can look at any of those at any moment," Parson noted.
"If one girl isn't going like she's used to hitting shots or playing defense like we can, we've got girls that can come off the bench and really surprise people."
You'd be hard pressed to find a team who's bonded more. A concern over cohesiveness at the beginning of the season has become a strength near the end.
"We earned that trust in each other and we knew each other's parts and roles in this team," senior guard Megan Hooper said.
"Once we figured those out and trusted each other with defense we really stepped it up."
According to Hinkle, "We've really got together and became a team. It's really improved tremendously these last past few games, and it's really helping us win games."
Now the focus is on Blair Oaks in Wednesday's sectional.
If there's one thing you can count on, it's that Palmyra has no plans to be intimidated.
"We're a team that's won 20 of our last 21 games," Parsons said.
"Even if we look at a team that's won that many games we know we're right there with them, and we know at this point in the season anything can happen."
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