A Mansfield Timberview girls basketball player is looking to help her team push closer to perfection.
Last season, Timberview lost its only game of the season in the fourth round of the playoffs, ending an otherwise perfect season.
Now, Hailee Walls returns for her senior season and third year as a starter for the Lady Wolves.
The point/shooting guard for Timberview may be one of the key cogs in a system which has several weapons and not many weaknesses.
The Lady Wolves are coming off a second-place finish in the Frisco ISD Tip-Off Classic. Their loss in the finals was a rematch with 6A power Duncanville. Earlier in the tournament, Timberview knocked off the Pantherettes in OT.
“We play together as a team and everyone makes a contribution,” the senior said. “It’s not just one person. We have great post play (Lauren Thompson and Taylah Thomas) and great shooters,” Walls said.
No doubt, opposing teams tend to focus on standout Chennedy Carter, but it’ up part of Walls’ responsibility to feed the right person the ball or make the shot on her own.
Given the choice between point and shooting guard, Walls was honest in leaning toward shooting guard. “I like to score,” she said, laughing.
With all but one returner back from last year’s squad, the extra experience should prove problematic for the Lady Wolves’ foes.
Walls said she feels she has improved, too, in becoming a better shooter and developing her defensive skills.
“I take a lot of pride in my defense,” Walls said. “We all do, because defense wins games. We put a lot of focus on it.”
Walls also is a “general on the court” or the team’s quarterback. While she’s not the team’s most vocal leader, Walls said she hopes to be a leader by example.
Being able to keep a potent offense connected on the court, Walls is also using her experience and chemistry with her teammates to make her better on dishing out assists.
Walls said knowing what kind of shots her teammates like aid her in making the right passing decisions. If there’s an area Walls is looking to improve, it’s her ball-handling and being more effective coming off a pick-and-roll.
“I want to be better in seeing what’s open off a pick-and-roll,” she said.
Along with ball-handling as a focal point in practice, Walls said, “If you practice it enough, it will translate better to a game.”
Add it all up and Timberview should be a contender again.
“This season, I think we have a special group of players that are all talented and have great skills,” Walls said. “The sky’s the limit.”
Although the sole loss lingers in their minds, it’s serving more as a motivator for this year.
“We don’t want to feel the same way after the loss last year,” Walls said. “We have it in our mind, but know it’s a new year and we have to improve on last year, and make it to state and win it all because that’s what we’re capable of.”