LAMPASAS — The roster has changed, but the expectations have not.
Coming off the most successful season in recent history, Lampasas opened its home schedule Tuesday against Jarrell.
Things were different, though.
Many of the key contributors from last season’s team are gone, ushering in a new era of young players eager to prove their worth on the court.
While the Lady Badgers experienced significant turnover, a collective assurance remains.
“This is my third year with the program,” Lampasas head coach Mark Myers said, “and they can all run my stuff a lot better now.
“And they just play with a confidence.”
It was evident against the Lady Cougars.
The Lady Badgers scored 16 of the first 19 points in the third quarter to take complete control en route to a 59-43 victory, and following the win, Lampasas junior Addison McDonald admitted the culture has changed.
“We are definitely at a different place as a team,” the post said. “In
years past, we didn’t have the confidence, but Coach Myers came in and made us all believe in ourselves.
“We don’t come on the court to just play anymore. We’re here to compete.”
Led by sophomore Julianna Dwamena, who finished with a game-high 13 points to go with five rebounds, five Lady Badgers produced at least seven points in the nearly wire-to-wire win.
After Jarrell (2-1) recorded the first field goal of the contest, the teams exchanged five ties, including at 10-10, but then Lampasas began to pull away. Cobie Chandler and Payton Tatum hit consecutive 3-pointers to close the quarter, and the Lady Badgers inflated the cushion to 28-19 by halftime before exploding in the third period.
Lampasas (2-1) pushed its lead to 11 points, 30-19, before the Lady Cougars scored three unanswered points. The next time they scored, however, the gap had grown to 22 points at 44-22.
“We don’t let mistakes get overlooked,” McDonald said, “and at halftime, we talked about every little mistake, especially the ones that happened over and over.
“We try to never make the same mistakes twice, and that really helped us.”
Along with Dwamena, senior guard Abby Martin produced double-digit offense for the Lady Badgers with 11 points, while adding four steals and three assists, and teammate Jessica Ball finished with eight points. Furthermore, McDonald had seven points, three rebounds and two assists, while Tatum and Chandler contributed seven points apiece.
Now, Lampasas will look to maintain the momentum and further improve its chemistry during the three-day Austin Crockett tournament, beginning Thursday.
“We’re going to be playing all Class 5A and 6A schools,” Myers said, “and we’ll get six games in three days. I love those tournaments, because we get better every time we play.
“This group still needs to play a lot, but there will be a ton of improvement as the season goes on.”
LAMPASAS 59, JARRELL 43
Taber 16, Lawson 11, Wilson 6, Clay 4, Hage 2, Bell 2, Kucinski 2.
Dwamena 12, Martin 11, J.Ball 8, Chandler 7, Tatum 7, McDonald 7, Allen 4, Pearce 2.
Jarrell 13 6 8 16—43
Lampasas 16 12 20 11—59
3-Point Goals—Jarrell 3 (Taber, Clay Lawson), Lampasas 5 (Martin, Chandler, Tatum, McDonald, J.Ball). Free Throws—Jarrell 14-21, Lampasas 2-2. Fouled Out—None. Total Fouls—Jarrell 9, Lampasas 18. Technicals—None.
Records—Lampasas 2-1, Jarrell 2-1.
TUESDAY GIRLS BASKETBALL
- Austin LBJ 42, Florence 35
- Copperas Cove 57, Round Rock McNeil 47
- Gatesville 54, Belton 36
- Grandview 49, Salado 41
- Harker Heights 80, Round Rock 56
- Lampasas 59, Jarrell 43
- Round Rock Westwood 60, Shoemaker 40
TUESDAY BOYS BASKETBALL
- Belton 74, Bastrop 68
- Jarrell 41, Gatesville 40
- Lampasas 68, Llano 37
- Round Rock HomeSchool 48, Copperas Cove 44
- Salado 76, Florence 25