Two area girls basketball squads will see their seasons continue in next week’s bi-district round as Goose Creek Memorial and Barbers Hill will battle for Class 5A spoils.
Four others – Robert E. Lee, Ross S. Sterling, Crosby and Anahuac – saw their seasons come to an end and enter a period of reflection as the offseason begins.
The Lady Ganders finished 12-11 overall and went 5-9 in District 22-5A, winning six and four more contests than a year ago.
“We had a good season: We finished over .500 with a large majority of our starting lineup being underclassmen,” REL head coach Robert Robinson said. “Starting four sophomores this year had it’s ups and downs, but it was nice to see how they progressed through district play and hopefully learned what it takes to be a top contender next year.
“It was definitely a learning experience for them, but hopefully one that fuel their motivation as we head into next season.”
Youth combined with a lack of depth and size did effect their efforts against some of the heavy hitters, but with only one senior – Chloe Shelby – moving on, a strong future is taking shape.
“It takes some time to learn how to win and compete at a high level, both mentally and physically,” Robinson said.
The Lady Rangers wrapped the season 17-18 overall and 5-9 in District 21-6A, good enough for sixth place.
“I think they learned a lot,” RSS head coach Monique Everett said. “Their basketball IQ wasn’t the highest coming in. I believe they grew as a team and learned some things along the way.
“We didn’t take advantage of certain opportunities like we should have. Emotions got in the way and we didn’t always battle back well.
Everett had a team that played with intent and four of them – Bailee St. Romain, Aaliyah Jordan, Ambria Roberts and Precious Johnson were noted for standing out.
“Bailee is a beast: she worked hard every day in practice,” Everett said. “Aaliyah is an extraordinary point guard and her passion for the game is undeniable. Ambria stepped in at point when Aaliyah was out with a concussion and led the team to earn a starting position to finish the season.
“Precious really grew as a player. She was out of her element in the beginning because I forced her to be on the block. However, she bought in and averaged a double-double.”
After an area round playoff run last season, Crosby dipped to 9-22 overall and 6-8 in District 22-5A, missing the postseason by two games out in fifth place.
“Most people define seasons by wins as a great season or by losses a disappointing season,” head coach Michelle Trotter. “I do not see it that way, you either reach your potential or you find the areas of growth your team still needs. I love the playoffs, and obviously we have loved making deep runs to the regional finals two out of the last four years. But what most people don’t see, is those deep runs were preceded by seasons of growth and then state. It is a process. I see this season as a step in the process.”
Trotter noted the team’s struggles came at various points of the season and in games, thanks in large part to fielding a team with mostly underclassmen playing heavy minutes.
Three of those included sophomores Sequoia Carroll and Cortni Harris and junior Michaela Ray.
“Sequoia is starting to take on a dominant role we need from her,” Trotter said. “Cortni has grown as a ballhandler and shooter.”
Antoinette Brown’s first year saw a bump in wins as they recorded four district wins an increase from only one a year ago.
“Due to the team not having a successful season last year, I believe our team made leaps and bounds this year,” Brown said. “They are starting to understand the game and gain confidence in the positions they were placed in this year.”