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Old 02-16-2016, 07:20 PM   #1
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Wharton girls basketball coach making impact on and off court

After winning fewer than 10 games in three years, coach Jonathon Gibson took over Wharton girls basketball and he's making a huge impact on the court, but more importantly in life.

"My expectation was to have a 20-win season and win the district championship, but no, never did I think it would get to 30-0," said Gibson.

"Who would have thought, we only won like three games and now we've won 30 and we're undefeated," said lone senior guard Kia Gillis.

With just eight girls on the varsity roster, mostly underclassman, Wharton has exceeded all expectations. However, ranked third in the state, the ladies are far from satisfied.

"We want to go to state, that's all we want to do. Just go to state and win," said guard Roberta Farris.

The secret behind Wharton's success? It's Gibson, who's led the Tigers to 53 wins in two years.

"Once we got rollin' and getting the wins, it was easier to set our goals for the next mark," said Gibson.

"He came in and did his job, he's an excellent coach, and always there for us. I love him, he's taught me a lot," Farris said.

And Gibson is teaching a lot more than basketball. He's created a family atmosphere at Wharton that's brought the team closer than they've ever been.

"We have a bond, we've been playing a long time. When he comes in he helps us connect, even when we're having problems. He knows we're a family and how we should act," said Meme Foston.

Gibson has two daughters of his own, Kenna and Kenzi, but it's safe to say he's adopted a few more.

"I have my own kids who come to the gym. They're gym rats. Having them around the kids and my wife, we're just around each other so much that you don't have an option but to become family," said Gibson.

"He always calls us his daughters," said Gillis.

"He has us set goals even if we don't think we can reach them, just in case," Foston said.

"He wants us to have good grades, he doesn't care about anything else but our grades," said Farris.

"He's changed my whole perspective on basketball and that we can really make it somewhere in life," said Foston.

The Lady Tigers play Sweeny on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. to begin postseason play.

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