Girls basketball to play first home game Nov. 8


Hannah Mathew

Senior Dana Gingrey dribbles through obstacles during third period practice on Nov. 2. After going through the obstacles in this drill, she shot a free throw.

The girls basketball team is set to play its first home game of the season against McKinney North on Nov. 8 at 6:45 p.m in the Hawk Arena.

During the 2021-2022 season, the varsity team won against McKinney North 52-46. The team now hopes to secure another win against them this season by working on tightening defense transitions.

“[McKinney North] has a good program [with] Coach [Veronica] Hamilton over there,” head coach Lisa Branch said. “She has them treading in the right direction. Her daughter is one of the best players in the state, so she’s going to be a challenge for us. They do a good job on a defensive end; getting up, guarding us tightly, so we’re going to have to use that to our advantage.”

The team has practice every morning at 6:30 a.m. on non-game days. Players also practice during third period and on Saturdays.

“Our first practices have been pretty good,” junior team captain Paris Bradley said. “We start with a lot of conditioning right off the bat. Once we get through the conditioning, it’s really basketball focused, [then we do things] like [playing] five on five and shooting.”

The team had a successful first scrimmage on Oct. 29, playing teams from Dallas, The Colony and Prosper.

“We won all three of our scrimmage games, so that was good,” senior shooting guard Dana Gingrey said. “We played really well as a team. I remember this first game — we were down at the end of the first quarter, but we kind of came back in the second quarter and I think that was really good.”

The team is hoping to go off this momentum and get a quick start to the season. Last season, the team finished with a record of 20-14 and lost in the first round of the playoffs.

“The girls had a bad taste in their mouth last year, we definitely didn’t finish the season the way we wanted to, but we’re all excited now and just ready for the challenge,” Branch said. “We want to win at least 20 games and [also] win districts. We have a great shot at that. We’re in three very challenging tournaments and we want to win at least one of those tournaments.”

Bradley said she has been trying to make sure the players all understand their plays by sitting down and making sure they’re all together mentally and physically.

“I go sit down with my team and make sure they’re in a good state,” Bradley said. “[With] most people, you won’t know unless you ask. They’re not the type to just talk about things I don’t even think anybody is [asking.] Then [I’ve been] focusing on talking to Coach Branch or just making sure that we’re all on the same page.”

As the team hopes to fulfill its goals, Branch hopes to have a successful season with the team’s strong inside game and defense.

“The energy has been great effort and is always there,” Branch said. “Team chemistry is something that every coach dreams of. Our team chemistry is there, and it helps that [we’ve returned] from last year in our three team captains. The practices are great. I think now [the team is] ready to play against other opponents, and we’re just ready for the challenge.”