Such is the case for the Erath Bobcats and the North Vermilion Patriots. Each team is still searching for their first district wins. The Bobcats (12-6 overall) are 0-2 in league play after a loss to Cecilia. The Pats (9-10) are 0-1, but played 6-3 preseason favorite Catholic High of New Iberia to a six-point game Friday.
“We are kind of both in the same boat,” said Erath head coach Tommie Pillette. “We both need to get a win.
“This is a must, right now, with the situation both of us are in.”
North Vermilion head coach Roger Butter agreed.
“I think you have to look at all of the games as must wins,” said Butter, who is in his first year as Pats head coach.
The Patriots won three games in a row before Friday’s loss to Catholic High. Butter said the Pats’ recent stretch could aide them at this point.
“We want to take that and build,” Butter said.
Building is an important part of Butter’s job this season. He leads a young team. With that, there is one veteran who is coming into his own.
“Beau Callahan just keeps getting better every game,” said Butter. “He had 20 points Friday night. He had 15 the game before and against Notre Dame he had 18 points and 16 rebounds.
“He is getting better.”
Butter said he wants the entire team to continue to grow. The Bobcats, on the other hand, have a few more veterans. On any given night, that shows in the box score, with a bevy of players stepping up. Chris Tyson led the Bobcats with 23 points in a win over Vermilion Catholic. Mickey Seymour poured in 32 versus Catholic High. Dason Bernard, Keenan Guidry and Zack Mire have all paced the Bobcats at some point.
What Pillette is looking for now is to put it to come together.
“We just need to have the confidence to finish, “Pillette said. “We need to make sure we take advantage of open shots.”
Pillette said he knows open shots will not come easily tonight. He compared preparing for this game with the same mentality he prepares for a football game.
“We know North Vermilion is going to come in and battle us,” Pillette said. “I expect it’s going to be a good, tough game.
“A win would be big for us.”
The coaches share the same line of thinking.
“It will be a big game,” Butter said. “A win would put us back in the race.”