Girls basketball: Clear Springs backing up state rankings
If you go by state rankings, the Clear Springs Lady Chargers are the team to beat in District 24-5A, but that's not the way Clear Springs coach Pam Crawford is thinking.
"There were a lot of positives in winning 12 of our first 14 games, and we've seen the girls come together and really jell as a team," she said, "but we still have a lot of work to do, and with district starting this week, a lot of it is just beginning."
The team's early success led to a No. 10 state ranking and was highlighted by a first place in the DeSoto Tournament, and a second in the Clear Creek ISD Peggy Whitley Classic last week, and victories at Class 5A No. 11 DeSoto 66-65 and over No. 18 Dekaney 57-52.
The Lady Chargers also defeated a talented Australia all-star team 59-56 in the DeSoto finals, and the only losses were to No. 5 Atascocita 76-58 and No. 17 San Antonio Wagner 50-47 in the Clear Creek finals.
Freshman point guard Brooke McCarty was the DeSoto Tournament most valuable player, and junior Aaliyah Brown, and sophomores Courtnie Latham and Kaylin Roher were named all-tournament.
Lady Charger opponents also have to deal with senior Mileka Lodrake and sophomore Jo An Lira, who have come back strong following injuries, and the team's incredible depth runs deep with seniors Jzavon Redic and De Shae Gray, junior Caitlyn Hill, and sophomores Tiffany Terry, Ryshinique Ball and Alysse Dowdy.
"It's fun to have all these players, especially for a coach," Crawford said. "Everyone wants to focus on Brown and Brooke (McCarty), and that's understandable, but even though we're pretty young, all of our players are capable of taking a leadership role, and we have a lot of players who can make a difference."
The Lady Chargers play their second district game at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, at Brazoswood, and are in 24-5A action at 1 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 20, at Pearland.
After a holiday break, Clear Springs competes in the Alvin Lion's Club Tournament from Dec. 28-30 before moving on to district play at 7 p.m. on Jan. 4, 2011 against Alvin at Clear Springs High School.
"I really like have the Alvin Tournament right out of Christmas," Crawford said. "It allows us to knock some of the rust off before getting back into district, which is going to be tough."
Clear Springs wasn't ranked coming into the season, and is now the only 24-5A team in the 5A top 25, according to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.
"We're looking forward to having some practice time to go back and repolish a few things," Crawford said. "After having some many tournaments games, and very few practices, you can get a little lax in some things, and those need to be corrected."
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