Rebuilding Lady Panthers headed back to playoffs

Posted Monday, Jan. 27, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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For the 10th time in the last 12 seasons, Colleyville Heritage is going to the Class 5A girls basketball playoffs. But it’s likely the Lady Panthers (19-11, 8-3 in 6-5A) aren’t going to be district champions.

Colleyville Heritage began the week two games back of leader Hurst L.D. Bell with three to play. It would take Bell losing two of its final three games and Colleyville Heritage winning its last three to just force a tie for the district title.

Even then, Colleyville Heritage would have to settle for the second playoff seed because it would not have the tiebreaker with L.D. Bell. The Lady Raiders won both matchups. A combination of a Bell win and Colleyville Heritage loss would eliminate Colleyville Heritage from the district championship race.

Still, for this program to return to the postseason is a credit to the tradition that has been established.

“The kids are committed to upholding the tradition that’s been set,” head coach Dianna Sager said. “We want to do more. We’ve had some disappointments in the past couple of years in the playoffs. But for us, it’s being realistic. This is about seeding. We’re trying to get to the second seed.”

Colleyville Heritage played Irving MacArthur on Tuesday and trailed the Lady Cardinals by one game in the district standings. MacArthur was 9-2 but one of its two losses came against Colleyville Heritage. Had Colleyville Heritage won and should it win out then it would earn the second seed in the playoffs. District 6-5A is playing District 5-5A in the bi-district round of the postseason. There is the potential that Colleyville Heritage will either play Flower Mound or Hebron.

“We’ve really had great senior leadership between our guards Salina Apodaca and Victoria Bratcher,” Sager said. “They’ve been incredible to compete. And they’re the ones who have made everything go. Both of them have matured a lot. People forget we graduated six seniors off last year’s team. So this has been a great year for what we have done.”

Notable

If it didn’t occur Tuesday against Irving MacArthur, the Lady Panthers will be looking for their 20th win against Irving Friday at home. The regular season then concludes Feb. 4 against Irving Nimitz.

“This team has been hard to navigate through the chemistry,” Sager said. “But we’ve exceeded a lot of things and have worked really hard to put ourselves in a position to get 20 wins.”

Grapevine update

The Lady Mustangs (12-11, 4-7) saw their playoff hopes pretty much disappear with a rough week last week. Losses to Hurst L.D. Bell and Colleyville Heritage put them on the edge of playoff elimination.

As the week began, they were three games behind fourth-place Euless Trinity (7-4) with three games to play. Either a win by the Lady Trojans or loss by Grapevine would end all playoff hopes.

“We know it’s a long shot,” head coach Steve Ganninger said. “But we have to keep doing what we’re doing. I thought we played well last week. We just had some lapses that cost us. But regardless, we’re going to keep playing hard and keep fighting to the end.”

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