Poteau girls look to build from successes last basketball season

Editor's Note — This is the first of a two-part story previewing the upcoming Poteau High School basketball teams. The Pirates' preview will be in Saturday's paper.Looking on the surface, it may not appear as if the Poteau Lady Pirates basketball team had an abundance of success in the 2010-11 season. But knowing what the season prior was like, the Lady Pirates had quite a bit of success. They got more wins than in 2009-10 as they garnered nine a season ago. But what may be the two biggest successes were getting two pieces of hardware — the LeFlore County Tournament's consolation championship trophy and the Class 4A District Tournament trophy.“We won a trophy in the LeFlore County Tournament (consolation champions), and I actually felt that we were the third-best team there,” said Poteau Girls Coach Jennie Rutledge, now beginning her second season at the helm. “We beat Spiro, which went to the (Class 3A) state tournament — we almost beat them twice. The best win last season by far was the (Class 4A) District (Tournament) title win over Muldrow. I had a parent say to me, 'You'll never beat Muldrow. They work hard, and that's all they do. Basketball is the only sport they do.' That kind of gave me something to shoot for. We may have girls who do softball, golf and soccer, but when we spend our time in the gym, we work hard.”