Q. You started the year off with very high expectations, even mentioning the possibility of a run to state with the talent you had. In the end, I know a first round loss now was not where you wanted to end the season. Did the early exit show you a flaw maybe you hadnít seen before?
A. I think part of it was we ran into a really good team but we came out with a 15-2 lead to start the game and they went on a little run and for whatever reason we were never able to recover from it.
I do think that with our youth that played a big factor, even though weíve got kids that have the experience and they play a lot of basketball and have been put in those tough situations, theyíre still learning how to respond. Hopefully now those sophomores that are going to be juniors are prepared and know what we need them to do.
Of course weíve told them weíre tired of losing in the first round. But I really, really felt like if we would have won that first game we would have had a great chance because Poteet gets beat out and I donít know what might have happened. Or if weíre sitting in the three spot like Lancaster was and maybe things are a little bit different.
We did have a little bit of a flaw with our defense, it wasnít where it needed to be. The kids were prepared. It just wasnít our night unfortunately.
Q. This team was a hodge-podge of ages, skill levels and experience, with seniors and underclassmen mixing together. Did it come together like you thought it would? Were you happy with how everything meshed?
A. Yes, I thought that my big three seniors they did a lot for us this year. Right now, I donít know how Iím going to replace them. I just donít know. You lose Kiona who is 14 points a game and just her defense and her leadership at the point guard spot is going to be really, really tough to fill. Jamieís size and length, just her presence inside will be something we donít have. Gabby averaged eight rebounds a game, was our leading rebounder and was just a tough kid, did the dirty work, took charges. Iím not sure right now what weíre going to do. I know weíll find a way but those kids are pretty much irreplacable. I did like the way we came together. They all finally learned how to play together. We realized what we were good at and obviously that was our defense when we could have our defense convert to offense we were able to put up more points that way. The kids just had a funny way of doing things. When they were on, they were on. I do think they came together well. We had a few bumps along the way but I think overall they did a good job. And those seniors, those big three seniors did a nice job of leading the team.
Q. Those three senior starters were obviously key but you still have a ton of talent coming back, including two superlative winners. Despite all that you are losing, is there still plenty to build on for the future?
A. Iím really excited because Diamond and Taylor will be juniors next year. Shelby will be a sophomore. I think Bailey is really going to develop and come on and be a force next year for us. Dori, we lost her to concussions at the end of the year and that did hurt us, so thatíll help us a lot defensively next year. And then just having Katie have that year of experience, Iím really excited about it actually, I really am. I just want to be able to help them have as much success as possible and help them learn how to teach these younger kids, the kids that were on JV what itís going to take to win and itís going to take a lot. But weíll have by far one of the best guards in the state if not the country as a junior and I think Shelby, if she comes on like I think she will, sheíll be a top prospect before itís all said and done. All-in-all I am really excited.
Q. With what you are losing and now that youíve seen what this massive district has to offer, do your expectations for what this team can do change?
A. They donít change. I think that we have to set our goals and how weíre going to achieve those a little bit differently. Obviously I think a district championship is still something that is attainable for us, knowing what other teams in the district are losing as well. Thatís something that we strive for. Obviously a trip to Austin is always in the back of your mind especially since we havenít been in 34 years. But I think for us we have to get into the playoffs and then weíve got to win that first game. Thatís been our stumbling block the last two years. OK, weíve been, now letís get the win and move on from there.
Q. You thought a district title could happen last year. Do you feel it is still something you can get this coming year?
A. I think it is. We are going to have to find a way to replace those three kids. Is it going to be a difficult task? Yes. No one is going to go undefeated in this district, itís too good. Waxahachieís going to be better next year. Lancaster is still going to be tough just with the big kid inside. But I do still think we have a great chance. With Diamond going to put up the numbers I think sheís going to put up and Shelbyís got a year of experience, sheís going to move to the point guard spot. Taylorís only going to get better. I think we have a great chance.