By Tony Altobelli
Killeen Daily Herald
With four seniors back from last year's playoff-qualifying team, the Killeen girls basketball team kicked off the season with its first week of practices.
"So far, they're going well," KHS coach Latisha Rosemond said. "It's always a tough transition coming from 35-minute practices to two-hour practices."
Like most basketball teams, the focus early is on one particular area. "Conditioning and endurance," Rosemond said. "We like to run and press so we need to be in great shape.
"When we're not running, the focus is on limiting turnovers and tightening up the defense."
The four seniors Deasia Johnson, Nicole Governal, Lauren Smith and Ashley Price will be called upon to lead the rest of the Lady Roo squad. The team opens the regular season at Leander on Nov. 8 before their home opener against Pflugerville Connally on Nov. 15.
Gumbs enjoying two-way role
As far as racking up the endurance to play both offense and defense, senior Andrew Gumbs has one very good explanation.
"Sprints, lots and lots of sprints," Gumbs said with a smile after the Roos topped Lampasas 23-14 on Saturday.
Gumbs, one of Killeen's key defensive pieces as a middle linebacker, was given the opportunity to run with Roo offense and he didn't disappoint.
The 5-foot-10, 190-pounder rushed for 89 yards on nine carries, including a 45-yard touchdown that helped spark the Killeen victory.
"He's definitely in our offensive plans," KHS coach Sam Jones said. "We didn't give him a lot of reps in practice and that wasn't fair to him. The past few weeks, we've been working with him and how he carries the ball and how to run with our offensive line."
Waxahachie next on Lady Roos' schedule
At least the Lady Roo volleyball team knows who they are playing the Waxahachie Lady Indians.
Killeen, which advanced to the postseason for the first time since 2001, will take on the Lady Indians at a time and site to be announced.
Athlete of the Week Jayna Murray, junior, outside hitter
Murray put forth an outstanding defensive effort with a game-high 23 digs in Tuesday's playoff-clinching, four-game win over Ellison.
Stat of the Week 0, number of fumbles by the Killeen football team in the second half of Saturday's 24-13 win over Lampasas. The Roos had five fumbles in the first half.
Contact Tony Altobelli at firstname.lastname@example.org