Over on the girl’s side of the court, the Southern Denton County area was home to three playoff basketball programs last season, and 2012 could be even better.
Liberty Christian, Argyle and Marcus all made the post-season in 2011 and are looking to build on their success from last year.
The Liberty Christian girls are coming off of a state championship season, and with the return of top scorer and forward Nicole Kornet, should be in great shape to make a good run again in 2012.
Kornet, who has verbally committed to the University of Oklahoma, averaged 19.1 points per game and 7.2 rebounds last season for Liberty Christian.
Coming off of a 20-11 season, including a 7-3 mark in district competition, the Argyle girls basketball team is looking to make the playoffs again, and first year coach Skip Townsend is enthusiastic.
The Lady Eagles made it to the Area round in 2011 before losing to Lucas Lovejoy, and hope to pick up right where they left off.
“I’m the new coach, and this is a new system,” Townsend said. “We’re working every day to get better.”
Townsend said he expects big things from senior Sophia Ulman this year.
Townsend said he wants to be prepared for every team in district, but expects Sanger, Gainesville and Aubrey to be among the teams to beat, and said to have a good run in the playoffs, it will take a couple of things.
“We need big improvement on defense,” Townsend said. “We also have to find a way to score consistently.”
In 5A, the Guyer girls are looking to rebound from a difficult season in 2011, and coach Kristen Treppa said, so far, the signs are promising.
“The girls are working hard getting ready for a new year,” Treppa said. “They have been putting in some extra minutes outside of school, and we are excited to see their hard work pay off.”
The Lady Wildcats finished 8-24 on the season last year and 2-12 in district competition, and Treppa said she expects Southlake Carroll to be the team to beat in district.
Treppa said she is looking for Jasmine Leday, Renee Washington, and Kortney Kuhl to lead the way for Guyer this season and said to make a run at a playoff spot, her team will need to do four things.
“It will take hard work, leadership, execution, and taking care of the ball in order for us to have a good season and have a shot at the playoffs,” Treppa said.
In spite of finishing 4-10 in district competition last season, Flower Mound coach Sherika Nelson is excited about her team’s chances this season, and the Lady Jaguars could experience a huge turnaround from 2011.
“The kids worked hard over the summer and have had a good pre-season,” Nelson said. “Having seven seniors will give us great leadership and experience. We are committed to working hard and playing as a team.”
Nelson said this is a very solid group of players returning and is interested to see how they stand up to 8-5A competition.
“Ashley Deary will be a big leader for us this year,” Nelson said. “Her intensity creates so much for us. She was our leading scorer last year with 12 pts a game. She also averaged five assists, four rebounds, and four steals a game. She has the ability to control the game or take over the game at any moment.
“Nicole Smallwood, a senior, who will sign with Missouri State on signing day, will also be a go to player and leader for us. Her ability to knock down the three and create offensively for us will be key. She averaged 10pts a game last year. I expect big things from Brittany Clarke (senior) this year as well. She will have to control the boards and be a presence inside for us.”
Nelson said she does not see a weak link in district competition this year, and said to have a successful 2012 campaign, it really comes down to execution for the Lady Jags.
“We will have to do all the little things that win games,” Nelson said. “We will have to play bigger than we are, play smart basketball, play as a team and use our experience down the stretch to make a run.”
Over at Marcus, the Lady Marauders finished with an 8-6 mark in district competition last season to capture the fourth and final playoff spot and lost in the opening round of the playoffs to Southlake Carroll.
With the likes of Shannon Malone, Vanessa Jones and Sierra Bone returning, the Lady Marauders should rival for one of the top four spots in district once again.