Northeast Tarrant

Lady Panthers basketball has standout showing in Nike Classic

The Colleyville Heritage girls basketball team enjoyed a successful weekend at the Nike Classic in Katy. Head coach Dianna Sager’s squad went 4-1 before falling to Katy Tompkins in the championship game, 44-41.

To no one’s surprise, junior guard Caitlyn Foster and sophomore guard Bryn Gerlich were named to the all-tournament team. Sager calls Foster the team’s best on-ball defender.

The Lady Panthers (10-4) were likely going to add to their win this total this week with games against Fort Worth South Hills and Arlington Sam Houston. Those teams have combined to win only one game thus far.

Colleyville Heritage added the game with South Hills because of a switch-out with Arlington Bowie. Sager said she and Bowie coach Kelly Carruthers agreed to drop the regular season meeting since Bowie is already in Colleyville Heritage’s season opening tournament. Sager had some options, but those fell through.

Nevertheless, this program is already more than halfway to its 2014-2015 win total. That playoff team went 19-14.

Sager continues to carry only 10 on her varsity roster and said she plans on maintaining that for the remainder of the season. So far, she likes the rotation that has developed. There’s enough balance to where the Lady Panthers can go small with more guards on the floor. There’s also enough size.

Alyssia Harris is really the only post that Sager doesn’t pull away from the basket. Despite standing about 5-10, Harris has done more than enough to warrant Sager’s trust. Harris scored 12 and seven points in two of the tournament games.

“When we faced Friendswood in the Katy tournament, she was going against some quality post players,” Sager said. “I thought her defense was really impressive. She’s learning to use her frame to go up and under. I do think that she will end up being a good scorer for us.”

Grapevine update

This is definitely a different season for the Lady Mustangs. They went 0-4 for the week and saw their record drop to 3-7. Still, guard Jessi Prater made the all-tournament team.

But this rough non-district season that head coach Lindy Lombard has forged through with her Lady Mustangs has provided some painful lessons. They gave up a shot at the end of regulation against GCISD rival Colleyville Heritage that sent the game into overtime and turned it into a 50-45 loss. They then went 0-3 in the Canyon tournament.

“We knew exactly what we were getting into by going out there,” Lombard said. “There were times we could not buy a bucket. We had some decent leads against [Canyon] Randall and Clovis [N.M.] but we couldn’t hold them.

“With a young squad, you just have to keep focusing on the games that mean something [district games]. I can sometimes feel frustrated. And I know the players are, too. Inches are making the difference for us. It could be we miss a deflection by an inch or miss a 3-pointer by an inch. But we’re going to continue to fight and get reps.”

The Lady Mustangs played Coppell on Tuesday before taking the rest of the week off. Lombard was looking for a replacement for Richland but couldn’t find one.

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