Keller Citizen

Lady Bobcats start strong despite youth

The Byron Nelson girls basketball team got off to a good start this season with back-to-back victories over Haltom and Justin Northwest, and coach Darren Wilson said that while his team is young, he still believes it will be competitive this season.

Nelson will host Lake Dallas at 6 p.m. on Friday, and Wilson said he expects a tough game.

“They were in our district a few years back and then we played them twice last season,” Wilson said. “They beat us pretty handily the first time, but then we beat them on a last-second shot the second time around at the Brewer Tournament. So I expect them to know us pretty well, and we know them pretty well. [Coach Jonathan Lee has] got a good, older and experienced group, so this will be a good chance for us to see if we can accomplish what we want to against an experienced team.”

The Lady Bobcats defeated Northwest 37-35 in their last game, and Wilson said it was good to see his team building chemistry so early on in the season.

“That was a good game,” Wilson said. “It was a good preview of district. It’s awfully early, but I believe that at one point in the fourth quarter we were up by 12 and hung on for the victory. I have four freshmen on varsity this season. All four of them play. The youth and inexperience kind of showed through at the end, but we held the lead from beginning to the end.”

Wilson said he does feel like things are shaping up pretty well for the Lady Bobcats.

“We’re extremely young,” Wilson said. “We have four freshmen that played at Medlin Middle School last year. We decided when Hannah Sellinger tore her ACL at the end of the summer, we were going to get some of those young kids experience and go that direction. And it’s paid off, because they are definitely playing above their age, and they get a lot of minutes.”

Wilson said the goals for this season are pretty straightforward for his team.

“We want to make the playoffs,” Wilson said. “We take it 10 games at a time, and in that first 10 games, you try to get rid of that inexperience by getting those freshmen some playing time on the court. My older kids are doing a good job of teaching and leading those younger players and having patience with them. If we take it 10 games at a time, then hopefully by the time district rolls around we have a lot of the kinks worked out.”

Wilson said he expects Grace Baker and Delanie O’Connell to be his team leaders this season.