KINDER, La. (KPLC) - Ever since their first-round exit in the 2A state playoffs last season, the Kinder Lady Jackets have been on a mission. The Jackets are currently ranked top 10 in the state as they clinched their first district title in 12 years.
“We set goals on how many rebounds we wanted to have per game and how many turnovers we want to limit ourselves to," said Kinder head coach Natasha Dowies. "One of our goals was ‘what place do you want to come out in district’ and they said first.”
“I feel like we earned it and worked hard for it," senior point guard Brooklyn Fontenot said. "If we keep pushing, we’ll go further than winning district.”
In just her second season as head coach, Natasha Dowies has Kinder back in the driver’s seat to make a deep playoff run. She said her players have been the reason why they’ve had success.
“Leadership. I’m going to throw it all back on Brooklyn. She’s such a positive energy out there," Dowies added. "We have a young team. I think last year your youth got the best of us and our inexperience. This year, she decided she didn’t want that to happen. So, she’s taken the young ones under her wing and she’s been such a positive influence in helping them grow, it’s a good change.”
Brooklyn Fontenot has been the backbone of the team. The senior is averaging over 20 points per game and recently recorded her first career triple-double of 30 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists against DeQuincy.
“We started out kind of slow and I said, Brooklyn I need you to do this," said Dowies. "I think she was prouder of the assists because in the end, their success is her success too, so she was pretty excited about that one.”
Fontenot feels the last few years the Jackets haven’t played up to their potential when the state playoffs have rolled around. But this year is different. She believes this team has the chance to give Kinder their first-ever girls' basketball state championship.
“We need another shot at it, and I think if we just keep pushing, we’ll get to it,” Fontenot said.