What was special about freshman Bryn Gerlich’s career-high 32 points last Friday against Richland was what she didn’t do.
Gerlich never attempted a free throw. Gerlich was 4-of-6 on three-point attempts and then scored the other 20 points on a series layups, fast break points when the Lady Panthers broke the press, and then pull-up jumpers as Colleyville Heritage won, 55-43.
“It was pretty impressive,” coach Dianna Sager said. “When Richland ran a box and one on her, she really didn’t have a problem handling it because she is such a hard matchup. She can play the guard or the post. So her versatility is something that you have to try and adjust to.”
Gerlich’s reputation has preceded her wherever Colleyville Heritage has played. But the Lady Panthers have lived with that type of player in previous seasons. That started with Porche’ Torrance, then transitioned to Alexia Standish, then to Artavia Ford.
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What this program is looking for is its 12th playoff appearance in Sager’s 13 seasons at Colleyville Heritage. The Lady Panthers (17-11, 6-2 in District 7-6A) played a pivotal home game against Euless Trinity on Tuesday before enjoying their second scheduled district bye this Friday.
Regardless of the outcome, the Lady Panthers are in a pretty good postseason position to clinch because they have swept both Coppell and Richland and won the first meetings with Hurst L.D. Bell and Haltom. The goal is to beat the people who are trailing in the district standings. They really only need one more win to do it.
To prepare for the stretch run that includes a potential postseason, Sager set up a practice against the junior varsity boys on Monday.
“When you are going to be playing physical teams like Trinity, you want to get ready for what really could happen,” she said. “It’s nothing that I haven’t done or what other coaches do. Our girls have always responded.”
Senior post Charlotte Collyer did not play against Richland because she was still experiencing some issues with her high ankle sprain. Collyer did play against Coppell on Jan. 19 but came out of that game. Her status for Trinity was unknown …. Meanwhile, senior forward Seairra Ford was expected to rejoin the team for the Feb. 3 game at Haltom … senior guard Caitlyn Foster, who has not played this year due a torn ACL she suffered in the summer, is also expected to play. Sager said Foster has responded pretty well to contact drills in practice.
Grapevine (26-2, 8-0 in District 6-5A) took its first step this past Friday when it officially clinched a playoff berth in its 61-34 victory over Fort Worth Dunbar. Ironically, that was the same score when it defeated Fort Worth Eastern Hills on Jan. 20.
“Clinching a spot for us is exciting,” coach Lindy Lombard said. “But when we sat down in October and talked about the things we wanted to do, this was only one of them. It’s not where we want to be. We’re not going to be complacent with the way we do things.”
The Lady Mustangs went through their second scheduled district by on Tuesday before playing at Fort Worth Carter-Riverside on Friday. Of course, Grapevine would like to win a district championship.
To begin the final push, Lombard started scrimmaging her team against the freshman boys teams. Like any team preparing for the postseason, it has to be ready for a more physical brand of play.
“There’s nothing to lose, because we’re not expected to win those games,” Lombard said. “But down the road, this will make us better.”
Nicole Taake had a huge game against Dunbar, scoring 14 points and getting eight assists, Lombard said. Reem Bayaa had 11 points and seven rebounds against Eastern Hills, along with 15 points and eight rebounds vs. Dunbar. Tatum Tellin had 15 points and eight rebounds against Eastern Hills, and Abby Sandy totaled 10 points against Eastern Hills and 15 in the Dunbar game.