The Lady Badgers Varsity Basketball team returns seven all-district selections and hopes to capitalize on that experience and a fast-paced running game as it faces a tougher, taller district this season.
“Hopefully our up-tempo running-game-style will wear down opponents,” Coach Burke Braun said. “We don’t have any 6-foot tall girls, but we have speed, ability, court sense and a winning attitude. I’ll take that over height any day.”
The girls began after school practices last week, upon the close of volleyball season, and had their first scrimmage against Mathis Saturday. Their first regular season game is Nov. 6 here at home against Jourdanton, beginning with JV at 5 p.m. and followed by varsity at 6:30 p.m.
“It will be an exciting, great year for the Lady Badger Basketball program if we keep healthy, focused and drama-free,” Coach Braun said. “Many things will stay the same. I have added a few new plays to our complex offenses, defenses, presses, etc.”
Ultimately, the Lady Badgers’ goal involves advancing to the playoffs -- at least the Regional tournament or better. Last year, the girls were Area champs and made it to the quarterfinal game, where they lost to Marion.
“We are coming back with a lot of experience, which should help us get to where we want to be: Playoffs,” junior Kayla Ramirez said. “Determination is key -- working hard and getting better every day.”
District 28-2A includes Poth, Schulenburg, Hallettsville, Nixon-Smiley, Stockdale and Luling.
“Basketball district teams are even tougher than the volleyball district,” Coach Braun noted. “Every team made it to the playoffs last year with five out of the seven going three games or more in the playoffs. It’s a very strong district, but I know our team can compete strongly against any of their foes. There will be a lot of close games and upsets each week. Poth and Schulenburg will probably be the strongest.”
Like the Lady Badgers, each team returns experienced players, Coach Braun added.
Height on the Lady Badgers’ team comes from senior Lani Pitts, a 1st-team All-District selection, and sophomore Morgan Kelley, who as a freshman last year earned Honorable Mention. Quickness will include senior Aileen Lunquist, who made the All-Region team, and Ramirez, a 1st-team All-District selection. Seniors 1st-team All-District selection Courtney Piepryzca and 2nd-Team selection Jonie Reyes, along with Honorable Mention Khadeshia Hopkins, will add hustle and play-making abilities too. Other returning varsity players include senior Tiffany Cano and juniors Katy Gotthardt, Kortney Witte and Mariah Villareal.
“It’s going to be a lot tougher,” Pitts said. “The teams are going to be a lot bigger, but we have to push ourselves harder and want it. Dedication.”