Basketball season will tip Thursday night for the Central Arkansas Christian girls on the court their coach built.
“Coach Q Court” was christened last week, honoring Steve Quattlebaum, beginning his 19th year at Mustang Mountain where he has tallied a record of 410-152 and won three consecutive state championships. Overall, he has a career mark of 554-209.
“It was pretty neat,” Quattlebaum, 55, said of the evening, which featured a reception for former players and introductions of the CAC teams from grade school through senior high, highlighted by video presentations by Jaison Sterling, as well as senior boys and girls scrimmages.
Also on hand to honor him were Daryl Fimple, girls coach at North Little Rock, and Rick Treadway, the long-time Sheridan coach now at Pulaski Academy.
The Lady Mustangs will face Pottsville in a benefit game at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The regular season will open at North Little Rock on Tuesday, Nov. 26.
“Pottsville’s been a regional tournament team the last two or three years, and they’ve got several kids back from last year when they went to the state tournament,” Quattlebaum said. “They’re a well-coached team with a big post player. It should give us a good picture of what we need to work on.”
Although his Lady Mustangs have gone to team camp at Pottsville the last few years, they have not played the Lady Apaches during the regular season.
Quattlebaum, who also coached the boys team the last three years, said he could already tell a difference in himself on the eve of the new season.
“Fatigue-wise, for one,” he said. “And we’ve got our new wood floor in our little gym. That will help us.”
Four starters return from last year’s team that finished 25-9, including 12-2 in the 7-4A, and reached the quarterfinals of the Class 4A State Tournament: Falan Miller, a 5-10 senior who was to sign with Harding University on Wednesday; Sydnie Jones, a 6-1 junior center; Sara Butler, a 5-5 junior point guard; and Chloe Elkins, a 5-4 senior.
Quattlebaum is excited to start the season.
“I’m real anxious to see how this team is going to finish out,” he said. “We’ve got a real chance to go a long way this year and have a really good team. Every team’s different; you never know how they’re going to react or improve and what the season really holds, but I’m looking forward to a really good season.”