By all accounts, Grapevine girls basketball coach Steve Ganninger believed he had his team ready to go this past Friday against rival Colleyville Heritage.
Practices were sharp. Attention to detail was crisp. Players knew assignments. The plan to go after the Lady Panthers seemed like a good one.
But none of it came to fruition in the Lady Mustangs’ 62-35 loss to the Lady Panthers. It completed a tough week in which Grapevine (7-6, 1-3 in 6-5A) also fell to Hurst L.D. Bell (64-50) to put it in a difficult district spot as the Christmas break began this week.
“For whatever reason, we just seemed like a step behind everything,” Ganninger said. “Everything was out of sync. It was a very disappointing performance for us. I was surprised, because I felt really good going into the game.”
In some way, maybe the five-day UIL-mandated break for the holidays comes at the right time. The Lady Mustangs has played the gauntlet of their schedule with Irving MacArthur, L.D. Bell and Colleyville Heritage.
They will go into the Mansfield Rotary tournament with a tough matchup on Thursday against Mansfield Summit.
“We just need to focus on the little things,” Ganninger said. “It’s a really tough stretch we were on. And we still have to play Euless Trinity, which just beat Irving MacArthur. It’s going to be about rebounding and being in the right position to do things. We just have to figure some things out. We need to get some confidence back.”
Ganninger said he needs his top three players in Mandi Routon, Nicole Taake and Michelle Kotlik to be more aggressive, and “if they do that and try not to do too much, we’ll be fine.”
Colleyville Heritage update: the meeting
Freshman point guard Caitlyn Foster returned to the high school on Dec. 17 and went into head coach Dianna Sager’s office, wanting to talk.
Concerned that her starting position may in question as she was going through the understandable freshman ups and downs, Foster made a vow to Sager that she would play better.
“She just told me that she knew she hadn’t done what I had been expecting her to do and that she was going to work on playing better. I thought taking that initiative showed incredible leadership and maturity by her.”
Indeed, it was rough go for Foster in the two previous district games against L.D. Bell and Euless Trinity – both losses – but she responded with a career-high 15 points in the 62-35 victory over Grapevine. Colleyville Heritage stood at 10-8 and 2-2 in district play before it went into the Christmas break.
The Lady Panthers open play Thursday in the Duncanville tournament.
“Caitlyn’s freshman year is much like Alexia Standish’s freshman year (2007-2008),” Sager said. “There were some inconsistencies and we didn’t make the playoffs that year. But the way our kids responded against Grapevine is pretty impressive.”
Sager still likes the leadership she gets between Victoria Bratcher and Salina Apodaca. Apodaca stepped up in a different way against Grapevine, with 14 rebounds.