Lady Panthers racking up game experience

Posted Monday, Nov. 11, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The season is very young, but Fossil Ridge’s girls basketball team is loading up on opportunities to get time on the court.

The Lady Panthers are coming off a four-game tournament last week after losing their opener to Byron Nelson.

Even in the defeat to Nelson, Fossil Ridge played well defensively, said head coach Stacy Henson. “I have no complaints. The game came down to the last few possessions. It was a lot closer than final score indicated,” Henson said.

In the Grand Prairie tournament, Fossil Ridge won its first two games before dropping the next two.

“I always like to get as many games in early as possible,” Henson said. “We try to play the kids into shape and see where we stand.”

After posting wins over Arlington and Grand Prairie, the Lady Panthers ran into deep teams in Mansfield Legacy and South Grand Prairie.

“Honestly, we’re a little short-handed,” Henson said of the weekend portion of the tournament. “We had a starter out with a concussion and another one unavailable on Saturday. But I’m pleased with the effort. We’re playing hard.”

The early games have already seen great individual efforts from Toni Smith and Madison Crawford.

Smith has registered a double-double and Crawford, a senior who has started since her freshman year, has found a rhythm and led the team in scoring, Henson said. Senior Sterling Wilmer, who saw limited time last season, has stepped up in her senior year and has been a key scorer, Henson added.

The Lady Panthers were at home Tuesday to play Wichita Falls before hosting opening a tournament at Northwest Thursday-Saturday. They will start with Fort Worth Christian and will be joined at the tournament with several other teams they’ll see later in the season.

Henson said the UIL has decreased the number of games teams can schedule by two, if they remain in three tournaments.

“At this point in the season, we need to do a better job of taking care of the basketball,” Henson said. “We’re not taking value of every possession, and we’re not very good from the free-throw line.”

Even though three starters have varsity experience, the Lady Panthers are still very young, Henson said, as many seniors are now taking the reins for the team.

•  Keller is the only other KISD team with a win after the first week. The Lady Indians are 1-1 after picking up a win over Burleson Centennial. Alli Gribbin picked up 20 points for Keller, while Ryann Johnson had 18. Keller will host Prosper on Friday.

•  Central opened its season with a loss to Denton. The Lady Chargers were hosting Prosper on Tuesday.

•  Timber Creek has found the early going tough after competing in the Colleyville Heritage tournament. The Lady Falcons, 0-4, were traveling to Grapevine on Tuesday and will play at Fort Worth Southwest on Friday.

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