The Mansfield girls basketball team stepped out of district play this past weekend for the Mansfield Spring Creek Invitational, hoping to take advantage of one last opportunity to improve before entering the heart of the District 4-6A schedule.
The Lady Tigers lost their first three games of the tournament before capping the event with a 32-31 victory against Fort Bend Bush.
“Any tournament, you’re going to have highs and lows,” head coach Kate Goldberg said, noting that the first game – especially the second half – was a high, while the second game, a 48-22 loss to Cleburne, was a low.
“That first game we had a lot of energy. We just had one bad quarter, really,” Goldberg said.
That opener was a 51-30 loss to Austin Bowie on Wednesday. The Lady Tigers scored just two points in the second quarter and seven for the first half, but doubled the entire first-half output with 14 points in the third quarter.
“It’s just basic fundamentals we need to tone up,” Goldberg said. “If we could just be more confident in our fundamentals – to run the plays correctly, get the ball where it needs to be at the right time – we’ll be successful. We saw some of that in the second half of the first game.”
Mansfield followed that up with a dud that saw the Lady Tigers score just a lone point in the first period and no more than eight in any quarter.
“I think the holiday break just caught up to us,” Goldberg said afterward. “We just weren’t into it mentally.”
The Lady Tigers have been plagued by a lack of scoring depth this season. Maryam Adeniyi and Halei Wortham have been consistent offensively, but Goldberg said other players need to contribute more.
“For us, we’re trying to get a lot of players who aren’t getting a lot of reps into the games to see what they can do,” she said. “We’re looking for people to step up.”
A team that doesn’t score well needs to be resilient mentally, another aspect Goldberg wants her squad to improve upon.
“We need to be able to dig ourselves out when adversity strikes and have the leaders be more vocal,” she said. “We need to be able to maintain a level of confidence when things aren’t going our way.”
The coach doesn’t think the team is discouraged despite its 5-12 start. And the team will also restart district play on Tuesday, coming off a victory in its previous district outing, a 32-29 win over Fort Worth Paschal.
“They’re engaged,” Goldberg said. “Just leadership-wise we need some more vocal leaders in a positive way.
“I don’t think it’s been discouraging and I think they’ll get there. Hopefully sooner than later.”