Lake Country Christian won its final 19 games last season including the TAPPS 4A state title at West High School.
It was the Eagles’ second championship in three years and sixth since 2002.
The Eagles dropped down to TAPPS 3A during this year’s realignment, which was a sign of another title run, but Lake Country was put into a tougher district compared to previous seasons.
Along with Lake Country, TAPPS 3A District 1 also includes last year’s 3A champion Midland Classical and Denton Calvary, which reached the state final four.
“We have to be in one of the toughest districts in the state,” coach Eric Boettcher said. “We have no easy games, but we’ll be ready to play. We’ll be strong.”
The Eagles return four starters along with three seniors. Two of those seniors, guard Morgan Campbell and forward Maddie Cawley, were on the state all-tournament team.
Senior guard Brinley Kilpatrick and junior post Sage Taliaferro are also back.
“Our starting five is pretty solid,” Boettcher said. “We’ll have some solid girls coming off the bench too.”
Cawley is a handful for opponents. The 2019 standout, which will announce her commitment and sign on Wednesday, averaged 12.8 points, 13 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 4.4 steals and 3.3 blocks per game last season. She registered seven triple-doubles.
Campbell, who will also sign on Wednesday, was right behind at 15.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.3 steals per game. She scored a team-high 621 points and hit 71 3-pointers including the game-winner to clinch a spot in last year’s title game.
“We just have to make sure we all have comradery together,” Campbell said.
Kilpatrick and Taliaferro combined for 13.2 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Taliaferro was second at 5.6 rebounds and first at 50 percent shooting.
“We’re a team that can do anything we want if we work for it,” she said. “If we keep it up, we can go back to state this year.”
“It would be cool if we went out with a bang with multiple state titles under our belt,” Kilpatrick added. “We’ll have to be leaders to the younger ones. I think there’s room for improvement for everybody; we just have to get better every day.”
The Eagles beat Colleyville Covenant 55-27 on Nov. 6. They host 4-time defending UIL 4A champ Argyle on Tuesday.
Lake Country has won 21-straight games dating back to last season. It also has a 109-game district-winning streak in place.
“We want to continue that streak. We want to keep on winning,” Cawley said. “Our biggest competition will be Midland Classical, but we’ve prepared for these moments and we’re excited.”
McKenna Whites was the starter that graduated while Micah Lindstrom was the first off the bench. Those two combined for nearly 17 points and six rebounds per game.
Junior Gracie James started during the Eagles’ season opener 56-33 vs. Graham on Nov. 3.
“Gracie will be a huge addition for us,” Boettcher said.
“It’s going to be a little different this year, but the outcome is still the same,” Campbell added. “We’ll play great offense and defense, but our main focus is helping the younger ones step up for years to come. It’s not just about us seniors, but the future legacy of Lake Country.”