Jenny Bowden has numerous concerns when it comes to her team.
Her lone senior is most likely gone for the season, and the remainder of the roster is young, inexperienced, undersized and turnover prone.
With District 8-3A play looming, Bowden is quickly trying to calm her multiple worries. Lampasas’ third-year coach feels no anxiety, however, when it comes to collective determination.
After being doomed by countless self-inflicted errors during the opening day of the Lady Badger Holiday Tournament, Lampasas produced a one-sided victory against Killeen’s junior varsity team before falling to Lake Travis in the bronze bracket finals.
The Lady Cavaliers used a 17-10 first-quarter to take control, causing the Lady Badgers to play from behind for the duration of the contest, trailing by double digits on multiple occasions before losing 48-35.
While disappointed with the overall results at the home tournament, Bowden saw exactly what she expected from her players — fight.
“They don’t quit,” she said. “That is one thing I am very pleased with about this group.
“We can be down, and while we might not end up finishing on top, one thing they won’t do is they won’t quit. Sometimes, when teams get down, they don’t bounce back, and trailing by 10 points turns into 20 and it turns into 30.”
Little else went right for the Lady Badgers though.
With point guard Sierra Rash sidelined until late January, Lampasas (9-9) continually struggles to maintain possession, and turnovers are a recurring problem for the team as it attempts to play an up-tempo style.
The issues were obvious during each of the Lady Badgers’ games Saturday, including their 51-30 win against the Lady Kangaroos.
“We just do silly things,” Bowden said. “Unforced turnovers are what kill us. ... Yes, I’d like to play fast, but if we’d slow down and run through our play or run our press break, (it would be more beneficial).”
Led by guard Qadrey Tolliver’s team-high 11 points, the Lady Badgers showed no ill effect from their sloppy play against Killeen, especially late as they outscored the Lady Kangaroos 20-7 in the fourth quarter.
Caitlyn Shaughnessy and Alexis Theus each finished with eight points in the win, while Stacie Olivarez added seven as every player who entered the game scored for Lampasas.
But the scoring was not as plentiful against Lake Travis.
Lampasas totaled 12 points in the second half, missing four of its seven free-throw attempts during the third and fourth quarters.
Although Bowden was pleased with some things she saw during the tournament, including her team’s relentlessness, she knows additional areas of concern were exposed as she prepares to begin district play Friday at home against Gatesville.
“We were able to see what we have got to buckle down on and work on,” she said.
“We’ve probably had an easier preseason than we will a district season, but I was glad to have the teams we played in the tournament because those types of teams are what is going to get us ready.”
Contact Clay Whittington at firstname.lastname@example.org