Girls basketball hopes to carry success of last year into new season

The girls basketball team will play its first non-district game against Sachse on Nov. 5 at 6 p.m.

“We have been practicing a lot and working on our team bonding, which is one of the most important things we do,” senior power forward Samantha Ising said. “We have just been working on our conditioning and getting stronger and faster with our movements to prepare for the season.”

The team finished last season with a district record of 9-5 and beat Denton Guyer in the first round of playoffs 54-53.

“[Two years ago], Denton Guyer ended our season, so getting to play them again last season and beating them was definitely a great feeling,” head coach Chalisa Branch said. “That’s why I would say we definitely overachieved last year. I’m just looking forward to building on that and carrying that feeling with me through this season.”

The team practices every day during third period and after school. They have been working on transition defense as well as continuing to strengthen their offensive skills.

“There have been different tactics,” Branch said. “We have always been a very guard-[dominated] program, and we have [players] returning that have been a good presence for us inside. A lot of our offenses are going to flow through this year and that is different for us just because we have been guard dominant.”

The team started off last season against Sachse and won 54-45. Ising said she is excited to play against them again and start the season with younger players.

“[I’m looking forward] to seeing how the new team plays, because we have a young team this year since it’s almost all sophomores,” Ising said. “I am excited to see their energy when we start playing”

After playing against each other during pre-season, Branch said the team is ready to start playing district games.

“I think the team is handling everything, and they are ready to play against other teams besides practicing against one another,” Branch said. “They’ve had good focus. They know that they have a target on their back since we are returning seven lettermen and two starters.”

The team has done additional practice with scrimmages to assess their strengths and weaknesses and prepare more for district games.

“We are a long way from where we want to be, but that’s the fun part,” Branch said. “Watching the girls grow daily and get better is what I’m enjoying right now. We don’t want to peak right now or too early in the season. We just want to take it one day at a time.”