Watching the first few game films from this young 2011-12 season sparked first-year girls basketball coach Liz Ramirez to make a couple of changes.
A new starting lineup.
A new approach to the middle two quarters.
Most importantly, the Buccaneers finally secured their first victory, a 46-26 road triumph at Dover that gave their coach her first victory as the bench boss of her alma mater.
"This is just what we needed," Ramirez said. "Winning is an attitude, so you have to learn what it feels like to win and understand what it takes and recapture that feel, recapture that intensity every game after.
"I needed for them this early in the season to understand what it takes so they can carry it forward."
Although Belleville's record is only 1-3, Thursday's performance was especially important for a squad -- and program -- seeking consistency. Ramirez has seen flashes of what she watched for 32 minutes yesterday, but also saw the Bucs squander a 17-3 first-quarter lead in Tuesday's loss to West Side.
And so, the coach and onetime standout forward in the 1990s reviewed the first three game tapes with her team, pointing out positives while challenging them to be more balanced, more consistent.
For Thursday's game at Dover, Ramirez brought talented freshman Samantha Samaniego off the bench and mixed up her full-court press. Both moves paid impressive dividends: Samaniego scored eight points and accounted for nine of the Buccaneers' 18 steals, while the press helped them outscore Dover by a 29-9 margin over the middle two quarters.
"Our second and third quarters in the past two games were very weak," Ramirez said. "We just played half-court basketball in the first quarter, then put the pressure on to rile everybody."
Tia Silas led Belleville with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Jordan Mosley finished with eight tallies and four steals and Chassity Sousa contributed six potions and eight rebounds.