|The Proof is in the shot: Mannon's scoring touch coming through for Lady Cats|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
Jan. 25, 2005 - When Minta Mannon hit four 3-pointers against Mount Pleasant - three of them in the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats' frantic fourth-quarter comeback attempt - head coach Carin Bryant saw that as the fruits of four years of hard work.
"She's matured so much in the last four years," Hoffman said. "It was good to see her come through like that. She's always worked hard to be a good shooter, and now she has added that extra maturity to her game and to her school work."
Mannon, a senior for the Lady Cats, has scored in double figures in each of the last two games, including 15 against Greenville which matched her season high. She's averaging 6.6 points per game overall and about 7.0 per game in District 12-4A play.
The four treys she hit against Mount Pleasant were the most in a game by a Lady Cat this season. She has a dozen 3-pointers this year, and has scored in double figures seven times.
Mannon is also averaging about 2.5 rebounds and a little more than a steal and an assist per game as a part-time starter.
She doesn't participate in other extracurricular sports, sticking to the one sport she loves.
"I like the discipline that goes with basketball, and I love Coach Bryant," Mannon said. "I think it's a lot harder than some of the other sports. I just like the nature of it."
She and Bryant agree that shooting is probably her best asset. Mannon has been shutout of scoring in only three out of 26 games this season.
"Probably shooting is what I do best," Mannon explained. "I've played basketball since sixth grade, and that's something I like to do."
But, the coach said what she brings to the Lady Cats goes beyond Mannon's 3-point shot.
"I'm very pleased with her," Bryant said. "She's worked hard trying to better her shot, be a leader as much as she can and help the team out. Even in the classroom, she's matured a lot, and it's showed.
"But, I think one of the main things is that she's become more mature in the way she plays and in the classroom."
Minta, the daughter of Marty and Laura Mannon, has already gotten her future plans in sight. She will likely start her post-SSHS education at the Sulphur Springs Higher Education Center and then get her nursing degree from one of the area colleges.
Both of her parents are in the nursing profession, and Mannon said it seemed to fit her pretty well.
"I like this town, and I'm pretty much a momma's girl, so I thought I'd just stay close to home after high school," she said.