After a season of struggle last winter, the Sterling High School girls basketball program is heading in a new direction.
The Lady Rangers are now under the direction of first year head coach Monique Everett, who last coached at Aldine Davis, and the new leader is feeling solid about a program she inherits on the heels of a six-win campaign.
“I like how eager they are to learn,” Everett said. “Sometimes coming into a new system, they can be hesitant and not know what to expect so they may hold back a little bit. This group took everything in. They have been really positive about it and I am really excited to see where they can go.”
The team is full of speed and lacking in height so the passing game will be pivotal this year.
At times, the Lady Rangers look good with the ball and other times they might need to tune up a bit.
“They struggle with dribbling a lot and they tend to try dribble through a press,” Everett said. “They’ve gotten better with it and I anticipate they will improve with it pretty soon.”
The team is led by seniors Aaliyah Jordan, Ambria Roberts. Ariel Kettle, Aubrey Payne and University of Texas commit Precious Johnson.
Juniors Kia Jones, Bailee St. Romain, Corrie Bourganeau and Jasmine Wheeler will be joined by sophomore Seleni Bernardez in creating hoped for depth for Everett’s squad.
“The coaching change is a whole lot more running and weight room workouts,” Jordan said. “We have a lot of seniors on this team so we are taking things a lot more serious. Most people realize it’s almost over. I have high hopes for us this year. ”
One of the keys to the team’s success will have to come on the defensive side of the ball.
“They are going to have to be in shape and that’s what we are focusing on right now,” Everett said. “We love to press and I want to be able to run kids in and out and keep the momentum up.
“We have to compensate for where we are not as tall in some areas. Precious can’t play the whole game.”
Offensively, the Lady Rangers should be able to break down opponents defending in the man-to-man look while having enough shooting to challenge zones.
“We will be able to match up with any defense that we will face,” Everett said. “All of my offenses give everyone a chance to score. I don’t like any kids to feel slighted. I think we have the tools to do a lot of different things.”
It adds up to a new look Lady Rangers program that is ready to go to work.
“We have to cater to the type of team we have and I think we have a great coaching staff and group of girls that are wanting to do something new,” Everett said. “It is challenging, but these girls are tough and ready to work.”