Lady Mustangs enter pivotal stretch of district slate

01/06/2014 3:35 PM

01/06/2014 3:37 PM

Basketball teams are funny. As much importance as there was on the Grapevine girls’ game last Friday at Irving, head coach Steve Ganninger still wondered what was going on for the first three quarters.

The Lady Mustangs trailed 41-32 going into the fourth quarter and needed a 15-2 effort to escape, 47-42.

“We woke up and decided to play,” Ganninger said. “The first three quarters were very uninspiring basketball. We played pressure defense in the third quarter but didn’t get what we wanted out of it. I’d like to say I put in this big offense that changed the game, but we didn’t. We just played better. That’s why it was frustrating. We were flat.”

It didn’t help the Lady Mustangs (10-8, 2-3 in 6-5A) that they were missing guard Michelle Kotlik. Ganninger said she was expected to play on Tuesday against Carrollton R.L. Turner.

With the victory, Grapevine kept the district playoff race in sight. A win over Turner would even the district record to 3-3, but Friday’s game at Euless Trinity is going to be difficult, especially since this is one of coach Sue Cannon’s better teams in recent years. What Ganninger is striving for is consistency.

“The consistent teams I’ve coached have been good on defense night in and night out,” he said. “It didn’t what we did on offense. We were always in good position.”

Colleyville Heritage update

Colleyville Heritage coach Dianna Sager has always been one who didn’t mind seeing her team get its nose bloodied through an arduous non-district schedule.

Her philosophy has been that those games will make the Lady Panthers tougher when the District 6-5A season starts. The Lady Panthers (14-10, 3-2 in 6-5A) fought through a tough November and December again.

But that paid off in last Friday’s 61-47 victory over Irving MacArthur. The Lady Panthers delivered an impressive defensive performance. MacArthur was held to just 27 points through the first three quarters before scoring 20 in the fourth – well after the game had been decided.

“I definitely think there was a lot of carryover from the Duncanville tournament (Colleyville Heritage went 3-2) and the level of competition always helps us reach another level,” Sager said. “We’re playing against some really good people there, and our girls understand what it’s going to take to win tough games in district play to get to the playoffs.”

That victory proved pivotal because Colleyville Heritage enters the final week of the first half of district play – at Irving on Tuesday and playing host to Irving Nimitz on Friday – tied with MacArthur for third place behind 5-0 Euless Trinity and Hurst L.D. Bell. Those two teams met Tuesday at L.D. Bell. It’s likely that Colleyville Heritage would win both games and move to within one of those teams for second place. Plus, both Trinity and L.D. Bell come to Colleyville Heritage in the second half of district play.

But what Sager has seen is that the team chemistry has changed for the better.

“It’s totally different,” Sager said. “We don’t have kids who are off in their own agenda. We have five kids on the floor who can score and are hard to defend. That’s really a good sign.”

Case in point was Charlotte Collyer, who had a career-high 19 points against MacArthur. She took advantage of post Artavia Ford being double teamed in the post and knocked down open looks.

Colleyville Heritage has scored 81, 61 and 61 points in home district games. What has to improve is scoring on the road. The Lady Panthers shot 17 and 21 percent in losses at Trinity and L.D. Bell.

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