During the early portion of the 2014-15 basketball season it was clear that guard Raven Ringo’s game was ripe. 

But the most important maturation actually took place well before the Killeen Lady Kangaroos opened the season against Round Rock Cedar Ridge or even took the court for preseason scrimmages.

“I wanted to come in, fix my attitude and be a coachable player, be a leader,” Ringo said. “I knew this year I was going to have to play a different role and to be an example for my teammates, and I think it turned out pretty good.”

Ringo’s game grew during her senior season and that led to a great year of team accomplishments.

For her efforts, Ringo earned the 2015 Killeen Daily Herald All-Area Most Valuable Player Award.

“We had a good season, we did some good things and had some accomplishments that I wasn’t able to do the last few years,” Ringo said. “To do that in my last year feels good.”

Ringo ran on the Killeen cross country team this fall in order to help her basketball stamina during the winter.

The extra work paid off as Ringo helped Killeen win the District 12-6A championship, make it to the Class 6A area playoffs and finish the season with a 23-11 overall record.

The Lady Roos won their first playoff game in five seasons as Ringo scored 12 points to help Killeen beat Tyler Lee 57-43 in the first round.

Killeen head girls basketball coach Latisha Williams said she saw Ringo take her game up another level this season.

“Between her junior and senior year, she really started maturing,” Williams said. “She decided that she wanted to play at the next level. When it came down to it, she realized this was her last opportunity and she didn’t want to have any excuses.”

“Me and coach hadn’t always seen

eye-to-eye and she will tell you, I was a hard one to get through to,” Ringo added.

Ringo said the nondistrict portion of the schedule was a bit rocky, but things started to come together after the holiday break.

The Lady Roos opened district play with wins over Copperas Cove and Belton and began play in the Killeen Classic.

Killeen enjoyed double-digit wins over Red Oak, Austin Anderson and Corpus Christi Carroll and took on KISD rival and last year’s District 8-5A champion Ellison at Ellison in a nondistrict game.

The Lady Roos beat the Lady Eagles for the tournament title then came back to Ellison and won a District 12-6A contest less than a week later.

“That first game we beat Ellison, I knew we had something here, something special, something that could win us a title and go far in district,” Ringo said. “When we first beat Ellison, I looked around and knew there’s something special about this team that makes it different from the previous teams and players we’ve had around us.”

The Lady Roos walked away with a win and Ringo left the Ellison High gym with a dislocated finger, an injury she played with for a good portion of the rest of the year.

“That game wasn’t easy,” Ringo said about the district game at Ellison. “But we went out, stepped it up and showed our toughness.”

Killeen wrapped up the No. 1 playoff seed by beating Ellison at home later in the year and wrapped up a district title with a home victory against Harker Heights.

For Ringo, the leadership effect was most apparent on Dec. 25, her birthday.

“My teammates sent me a lot of messages,” Ringo said. “Ke’Aunna Johnson, a good friend of mine, she wished me a happy birthday and told me I was a leader for her. Things like that make me happy about all of the things that I’ve done and all the things I worked on to be a leader.”

Ringo isn’t done making plays though. She committed to play for McLennan Community College on March 27.

Contact Albert Alvarado at alvarado@kdhnews.com

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