Mansfield Sports

Girls get district schedule underway

If you missed out on the playoffs last year, this week is what you’ve been waiting for all year.

And if you made it to the postseason, this week begins the start of trying to match all you had accomplished.

For the local teams in District 14-5A’s girls basketball the district season is underway, coming sooner than for most districts, as the nine-team league requires an extra week of district play.

One of the teams missing out last year, Legacy, is one of those teams which is excited to start anew.

The Lady Broncos had a slate of district action starting with Waxahachie and at Lake Ridge on Dec. 8.

“This is a new season approaching this week. Our record is 0-0,” said Legacy head coach Michelle Morris. “This is what we have been working for since the end of last season.”

Lake Ridge, which had made its way to the Region II semifinals last year, had a non-district game prior to the tip-off with Legacy, as the Lady Eagles were to take on Euless Trinity early in the week and then will add another tournament this weekend.

The preparation for the Lady Eagles has been somewhat tailor-made for the squad.

“We played in the McDonald’s Texas Invitational this past weekend and played against some of the toughest teams in the state,” said Lake Ridge head coach Stephani Gray, as they took on teams such as Galena Park North Shore, Manvel and Clear Springs.

“It was a great learning experience for us both in terms of the competition and learning how to stay the night in a hotel and play the next day. … It’s a good experience for them to know how to be disciplined to get to sleep,” and be ready to play competitively the next day.

Gray continued, “This district is one of the toughest districts in the state in 5A and playing that tough preseason schedule definitely prepares our kids for district play.”

Lake Ridge will play in the Burleson Tournament Thursday-Saturday.

“I like how our kids have responded. Win or lose, they show up to practice ready to compete, and I see a lot of growth from our players who are new to varsity this year,” Gray said.

Timberview, a regional quarterfinalist last year, will start this week with Summit and then a non-district match-up with Naaman Forest.

“I think we’ve had a light beginning to our schedule, but a very beneficial one,” said Kit Martin, the Timberview head coach.

“We played four very different teams that required us to win in various ways. We have six returnees with varsity experience, four of those starters at different times last year. Now, though, the race is on,” she said.

Timberview, after the district opener with Summit, will play in the Fort Worth Cowtown Classic starting Thursday, opening with Temple. Other teams in the bracket include DeSoto and Cedar Hill.

“We won’t have time to breathe until the Christmas break and UIL mandatory break. But I don’t mind – this is fun, and this team has tremendous potential,” Martin said.

Summit, another team which missed out on the playoffs last year, will begin the trek with the Timberview game and then Lancaster on Dec. 8.

First-year head coach Dawn Mailloux-Smith said the early season has prepared the Lady Jaguars for the tough road ahead.

“We have played 13 games already going into our first district game against Timberview,” she said. “I feel like we have had some good opportunities in the preseason to be in many different game situations that will help us in our district schedule.”

Mansfield played high-level teams Coppell and North Crowley before taking on Eastern Hills and Azle.

The Lady Tigers will open their district schedule Dec. 11 with Cedar Hill.

“We are looking forward to playing a very aggressive North Crowley team,” said Mansfield head coach Kate Goldberg over the weekend before the Tuesday game. “They will mimic and resemble our competition for district play.

“The girls are getting better every day,” Goldberg said.