Anytime a program collects 20 wins, it means something. For a young girls basketball program like Byron Nelson, it’s a little stunning. The Lady Bobcats (18-5, 5-2 in District 5-4A) opened the second half of district play with a tough road game at Azle.
A win there would set them up for collecting that benchmark on Friday when they play host to Denton. For this program, it would be the third consecutive season to reach 20. The program has only been around for four seasons.
“It is important,” head coach Darren Wilson said. “You’re going to play about 32 games, so when you reach 20 wins that means you’ve won about two-thirds of your games and that you’ve had a good season. It is goal we strive to achieve.”
Of course, winning the district championship and making the playoffs rank higher, because that’s where programs are judged. The Lady Bobcats are very much in the thick of trying to do both.
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Wichita Falls Rider had the district lead with a 6-1 record, but Byron Nelson, Denton Guyer and Azle were all tied for second at 5-2. Wichita Falls was running fifth at 3-4.
The oddity of playing the Lady Hornets again is that it’s the third meeting of the season. The teams met in the championship game of the White Settlement Lady Bear Classic and then met in the district opener.
Oddly enough, that’s what happened in the 2012-2013 season, when they met in the Peaster Tournament and had the two district matchups. Byron Nelson had won the last five meetings.
“We know it was going to be tough going over there,” Wilson said.
Edwards finalist for O’Brien Award
Nelson senior Madison Edwards is a finalist for the Davey O’Brien Foundation Scholarship Award. The recipient is presented a $30,000 scholarship and will be announced Jan. 21 during the seventh annual Davey O’Brien Scholarship Luncheon at the Fort Worth Club. If Edwards does not win, she will still be guaranteed a $2,500 scholarship.
According to the Nelson FaceBook page, Edwards is a three-year member of the National Honor Society, ranked as one of Nelson’s top students, a three-year member and captain of the varsity basketball and track and field teams, member of BNHS Student Council, and an academic tutor. She has also been active with hurricane relief efforts in Port Arthur and forest fire recovery in Ruidoso, N.M.
Wilson said senior forward DaKesha Butler has given a verbal commitment to Texas-Permian Basin in Odessa.
The Lady Texans (10-10, 2-5) reached an important moment last Friday when they won at Keller Central, 48-39. To be at .500 on the season with seven games remaining in the season demonstrates how first-year coach Rusty Johnson has changed the culture. But he’s still searching for relevancy.
Even with a difficult district record, Johnson is still talking about making the final game of the season on Feb. 4 against Central mean something. He thinks a 4-3 record in this stage could mean something for the postseason.
“We took Friday as a must-win because we had to make the last game relevant,” Johnson said.
Beginning Tuesday against Keller, Northwest plays four of its final seven games at home. The others are Haltom, Timber Creek and Keller Central.
Of course, Northwest was nine points away from going 4-3 in district play but it let fourth-quarter leads get away against Fossil Ridge and Timber Creek. Northwest’s growth in district play has shown in that it has either led or been tied in the fourth quarter in six of its first seven district games.