Consistency helps Lady Dogs keep streak alive


STAR CITY — The Star City girls basketball team doesn’t talk about its 8-4A Conference winning streak.

The Lady Dogs are, of course, aware of the streak, but that doesn’t mean the subject isn’t a taboo topic in the locker room.

“We try not to talk about it,” said head coach Becky Brown. “Us talking about it now will probably jinx it.”

Well, if Star City’s state record 77-game winning streak against conference opponents comes to an end Friday night at DeWitt, consider this a formal apology.

The last time Brown and the Lady Dogs lost a conference game was Jan. 11, 2008. The 41-37 defeat came at home against a Dumas squad which set the girls state record for consecutive conference wins that season at 37. That night, future-Ole Miss player Whitney Hameth scored 15 points for Dumas.

For her program to maintain an undefeated conference mark for four consecutive seasons and parts of two others, Brown thinks the key is pretty simple.

“I think it comes down to consistency,” said Brown, who’s in her 23rd season with Star City. “Being consistent with what we’ve done.

“Kids stepping up to their role.

“We coach the kids from seventh through 12th grade, so it’s about staying consistent.”

Brown said her being able to coach the junior high allows for continuity with the varsity program.

“Early on they’re knowing what kind of expectations we have for them,” Brown said. “They’re knowing what to do, and they’re just going to keep getting better.”

During the six years Star City has been on the conference-winning streak, the Lady Dogs have enjoyed great postseason success.

Star City took home a state championship in 2012, finished as runner-up in 2010, and also reached the semifinals in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013.

Asked about how this year’s Lady Dogs (14-2, 4-0 in 8-4A) stack up to previous squads, Brown spoke frankly.

“We’re not real big or have the size we usually do,” she said. “We’re probably not as quick as some of the teams we’ve had.”

Brown did say this group has built some impressive team chemistry.

“Since Christmas break, we’ve improved a lot,” she said. “… We’ve had kids stepping up, especially our three seniors.

“But that’s one thing we always have had kids that when it comes to be their time, they’ve stepped up.”

Star City’s incredibly impressive streak will eventually end; it’s only a matter of when.

When that time comes, Brown knows how she will address it.

“The year we won the state title,” Brown said, “we lost right after Christmas.

“It was the best thing that could have happened to us. It was a nonconference game, and it kind of woke us up.

“That’s why I always tell the girls, ‘You can’t be complacent. You just have to take it one game at a time.’”