While many might have thought otherwise in recent years, it is true that the University Interscholastic League Girls State Basketball Tournament can be played without the Brock Lady Eagles.
After all, it had been a long time since one had been held minus the Lady Eagles. From 2009 to 2013, five straight years, the Brock girls won Class 2A state championships. Last season they reached the title game, only to lose to Wall.
But this season, despite being ranked No. 4 in the state in Class 3A, the Lady Eagles' run to Austin (it would have been San Antonio this season) came to an end. They were defeated by No. 1 Sunnyvale 59-48 in the regional quarterfinals.
"We are obviously disappointed with how the season ended and not making in to the State Tournament," said Lady Eagles coach Chance Westmoreland. "We are losing five seniors who have been very instrumental to the success of our program.
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"But, we have a good nucleus of returning players and JV players that will have the opportunity to keep our program at a high level. We need to have a great offseason, and I know our girls will be hungry to prove they can get back to the State Tournament."
While they did not get back to state, the Lady Eagles (28-7) did improve their postseason record to 37-2 sine 2009.
And the cupboard is hardly bare at Brock (it never is). The Lady Eagles return only starter, junior guard Rachel Harrell (11.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.9 steals), they have three other returning varsity players in junior guard Trisha Jacobs (6.7 points, 3.1 assists, 2.0 steals), and junior posts Allie Popeck and Emily Wahlenmaier.
Also, the junior varsity was 30-0 this past season and has an 84-game winning streak.
"Several of them will be on the varsity next year and have the opportunity to compete for starting positions on the varsity team," Westmoreland said.
The Lady Eagles rolled through District 11-3A with a 14-0 record, compiling a 20-game win streak before losing to Sunnyvale. They ran their district winning streak to 54 straight entering next season.
And while this season recently ended, Westmoreland said the work has already begun for a return to state in 2016.
"This offseason our players will continue to develop into better overall athletes through our offseason strength and conditioning program,” Westmoreland said. “We will also play in a lot of Spring Leagues, SQT's (state qualifying tournaments for select ball) and College Team Camps.
"I had a lot of fun coaching this group of girls this past season. They were great kids and worked hard for us every day. We were able to travel to the Bahamas to play basketball, and that's an experience that few high school players ever receive. We took a few losses early in the season to some of the top-ranked teams in higher classifications, but our girls were able to fight back and go undefeated in a very tough district.
"I'm looking ahead to coaching a group of girls who are hungry to keep Brock at a very high level. I think we have the potential to be one of the top teams in the region and state."
Peaster Lady Greyhounds
Peaster Coach Denise Yankie sums up her thoughts on the Lady Greyhounds program in short fashion.
"I think we're headed in the right direction," she said.
The Lady Greyhounds (21-11) reached the playoffs for the first time since 2009 this season, losing to Sunnyvale in 3A bidistrict. In Yankie's two seasons at the helm they've won 39 games and lost 22, coming on the heels of going 1-11 in district the season before her arrival.
And with a roster of three seniors, three sophomores and four freshmen this season, the future looks bright. This includes three returning starters, junior forward Baylee Chapman (12.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.2 steals), junior guard Mikayla Fadden, and sophomore guard Baylee Hull (8.1 points, 2.4 assists, 1.6 steals).
The Ladycats (15-18) overcame a slow start to the season to return to the playoffs, losing in Class 5A bidistrict.
Three starters are expected back. They are junior post Rebekah Hissam (7.9 points, 4.9 rebounds), junior guard Kara Williams (7.4 points, 1.6 steals), and sophomore guard Cameron Huddleston (7.8 points, 3.4 steals).
In addition, they will return junior Bailey Benson, junior Emily Unger, and freshman Sarah Haeussler to the varsity.
Willow Park Trinity
The Lady Eagles made a return trip to the TCAF Division I State Tournament, finishing third with a 52-37 victory against Chisholm Trail Academy.
"The girls fought hard after coming back from a tough loss on [March 2] against El Paso Immanuel Christian," said Trinity coach Patti Hale.
Senior Faith Henning was an All-State Tournament team selection. She scored 16 points in the third-place game, while senior Tylar Reynolds added 11, and freshman Shelbi Tidwell totaled 10 points and six rebounds.
The Lady Eagles return all but four seniors, Henning, Reynolds, Tori Klam and Alli Stevens.
Parker County girls basketball records in 2014-15:
Aledo - 15-18, lost in Class 5A bidistrict.
Brock - 28-7, won District 11-3A, lost in Region I quarterfinals.
Peaster - 21-11, lost in 3A bidistrict.
Willow Park Trinity - 22-4, third in Texas Christian Athletic Fellowship Division I State Tournament.
Weatherford Christian - 14-6, second in TCAF Division II State Tournament.
Weatherford - 19-12, no playoffs.
Poolville - 15-14, no playoffs.
Millsap - 14-16, no playoffs.