Northeast Tarrant

Lady Mustangs basketball runs the gauntlet in non-district

Take a minute to examine the Grapevine girls basketball schedule. You’ll see that head coach Lindy Lombard’s young squad isn’t playing a bunch of also-rans.

Following Tuesday’s game at Colleyville Heritage, the Lady Mustangs (3-3) played six of their first seven games against Class 6A programs. The only game against a non-6A team was Denton on Nov. 23, a 48-41 victory.

Grapevine suffered a loss to Carroll on Nov. 24. However, Lombard wasn’t kidding that she wanted this program to face some pretty stiff competition. In the three wins, Grapevine has won by an average of 7.6 points per game. In the three losses, Grapevine has fallen by an average of 8.6 points. Call it a wash.

“We are the epitome of a work-in-progress,” Lombard said. “We’re certainly not anywhere we want to be, but it is early in the season. I have to remind myself that are going to be good moments and moments where we’re learning. There are bigger goals in front of us.”

The schedule doesn’t get any easier this weekend when Grapevine travels out to Canyon’s tournament. The Lady Mustangs draw a bye but likely will face Class 4A state power Abilene Wylie in its first game. Wylie has been to the state tournament in the last two years and features 6-4 post Brittany Brewer, who signed with Texas Tech. Brewer averaged 16.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game in 2014-2015.

Of course, Lombard’s father, the legendary Joe Lombard, runs the Canyon tournament.

“It’s a great exposure for my team to Panhandle basketball,” Lombard said. “These are going to be great tests.”

A state champion on the roster

Freshman Payton Oltrogge helped the girls cross country program win the Class 5A state cross country title. She placed 54th overall. Oltrogge then turned around and joined the basketball program.

She scored 10 points against Denton and continues to build her way into the rotation. She missed Grapevine’s two scrimmages but hasn’t missed much else.

“When you have a left-handed shooting guard who can handle the ball well, that’s a great thing,” Lombard said. “Payton has nice range from the three-point line and can attack the basket. She been pretty consistent for us so far.”

Oltrogge is one of four freshmen on this team. There really hasn’t been a player who has stepped up and taken over as the bona fide leader or scorer yet. That’s something Lombard isn’t concerned about at this point.

“With only two returning players, we told the girls that the lineup is open for everybody,” Lombard said. “We play multiple people in the post. This is the time where we have to figure out who can help us.”

Colleyville Heritage update

The Lady Panthers (5-3) split their last two games when they beat Crowley, 43-34, but lost to Mansfield Summit, 60-41.

However, sophomore guard/forward Bryn Gerlich continues her torrid scoring pace. She had 26 and 20 in those games and has reached that scoring plateau in seven of her first eight games.

Following Tuesday against Grapevine, the Lady Panthers move on to the Nike Classic Thursday-Saturday in Katy. Colleyville Heritage has been a fixture at this tournament over the years.