Northeast Tarrant

Carroll, GCISD teams resume race toward playoff berths

Jessi Prater (33) and the Lady Mustangs will likely battle Colleyville Heritage for the district championship.
Jessi Prater (33) and the Lady Mustangs will likely battle Colleyville Heritage for the district championship. Special to the Star-Telegram

There’s nothing like playing meaningful games in January. It’s the separation month. Those 31 days will inform the girls basketball programs at Southlake Carroll, Colleyville Heritage and Grapevine if there is to a fabulous February or a quick finish to the season.

The teams have each played three games in their respective district schedules. We break down their chances of playing in the postseason.

Carroll (7-12, 0-3 District 5-6A): The Lady Dragons have traditionally been in a position where they have looked down at the rest of the district to see who is going to chase them for the championship.

That’s not the case now. The Lady Dragons are already in a hole without a district win. They resumed district play Tuesday at Northwest Byron Nelson and play host to Hurst L.D. Bell on Friday.

While Euless Trinity is the clear favorite, Carroll’s likely hope is to find a way to get into the fourth position. That could be a logjam.

Realistically, Carroll is going to have to go 7-4 in its final 11 games to be in the discussion. However, head coach Teri Morrison is not talking about the playoff race with this young team.

“People look at me and talk about this being a tough year, but it’s not,” Morrison said. “I want the players to be successful. If you’re a coach, you’ve got to adapt to what you have. You’ve got to maximize what you have. We have good players. We just haven’t played good as a team.”

Colleyville Heritage (15-5, 3-0 District 8-5A): Dianna Sager’s program has made the postseason in 13 of her 14 seasons. But this is the year where this team has a chance to make a deep run.

The Lady Panthers are the heavy favorite to win the district championship. Colleyville Heritage played host to Fort Worth Eastern Hills on Tuesday and plays at Birdville on Friday. Regardless of the talent disparity on the floor, Sager recognizes that her team will be chased. Colleyville Heritage was tied for the district lead with Grapevine. However, the Lady Panthers are looking a return to the regional tournament for the first time since 2007.

“They’ve accepted the challenge that they are going to be the hunted,” Sager said. “This is our best opportunity to play a while out of district. Our players know they have a chance to go deep. But that doesn’t mean it’s automatic either.”

Grapevine (9-8, 3-0 8-5A): Grapevine’s best chance to contend for the district championship will come down to two dates: Jan. 13 and Feb. 7. That’s when the Lady Mustangs will play Colleyville Heritage. The first meeting is at home. The second is at Colleyville Heritage.

Lose both, and they likely will be the runner up. Grapevine already won a tough road game at Birdville (47-39) on Dec. 16. But there are still challenging games against Fort Worth Dunbar. That first meeting was Tuesday at Grapevine. The second is Jan. 27 at Dunbar. The Lady Mustangs play at Fort Worth Carter-Riverside on Friday. Grapevine was without sophomore wing Symone Wesley (volleyball training clinic) and senior guard Rylee Hanna (soccer tournament).