Lady Tiger hoops eyes progression in 2016

Ever since taking over the Dripping Springs girls basketball program three years ago, Laura Joiner has led the Lady Tigers to a 47-47 mark.

But a major caveat to Dripping Springs’ .500 overall record is how the Lady Tigers’ winning percentage has improved with each season.

Aubrey Pickard, Cassie Louthan, Lady Tiger basketball

Dripping Springs Tiger junior point guard Cassie Louthan (right) attempts to lay a shot above the stretched arms of Lake Travis Cavalier forward Aubrey Pickard during a game in the Drip Classic tournament at Tiger Gym. (photo by Moses Leos III)

That’s why Joiner is excited – very excited, in fact – for a 2016 campaign that shows promise.

“It’s definitely been a building process since I’ve been here,” Joiner said. “But that’s always what you want to see – progress and improvement from your kids every year.”

Dripping Springs will face a medley of unfamiliar opponents as a result of its alignment in 26-5A this season.

Joiner said her team and the coaching staff are excited to visit new schools, gyms and to face “a whole new fresh air of competition” as a result of realignment.

“We know there are going be some very competitive teams, nothing is going to be easy in this new district,” said Joiner. “We’re so excited and just look forward to the opportunity to get to play some new ball clubs.”

Joiner said the Tigers have set three goals this season, with the first increasing tempo.

“We want to go more up-tempo, which we haven’t been able to do as much the last couple years, and I think it’s more exciting type of game for our kids to play,” Joiner said. “They seem to enjoy it. They’re having fun applying pressure and going full court.”

The second goal is to win the rebounding battle. Joiner admitted the Tiger team is short this year, so she believes rebounding positioning will play a huge role this season.

The third goal for the Lady Tigers is continuing to play together, Joiner said.

The Tigers have three returning starters and six returning varsity players to go along with seven plyaers from junior varsity. Joiner and her staff are still trying to find the right combinations along with every player’s strengths and weaknesses.

“This year is a whole new group,” said Joiner. “It’s an interesting and whole new situation because nobody has a set spot, so everybody’s competing every day and everyone’s trying to get better every day. They’re competing but they’re doing it in a very healthy competitive way.”

The Tigers must also replace the void left by eight seniors. Joiner was confident that a philosophy of “scoring by committee” will benefit her team this season.

“We don’t have that one player where every other coach is saying, ‘okay we’ve got to stop that one,’ we have several that on any given night that could be our leading scorer,” said Joiner. “Some from the inside, some from driving, some from the perimeter – I just think we have a lot of weapons that are going to make it hard to scout us because on any given night someone else could step up for us.”

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