Much like flies to honey, the Dripping Springs Lady Tigers didn’t give the Cedar Creek Eagles much room to breathe when they played during the Drip Classic Nov. 9.
Just about every shot, pass and maneuver the Eagles attempted was contested. A Tiger player often put herself in the way, making life just about as difficult as could be.
For new Lady Tiger head coach David Norris, watching his team hold Cedar Creek to one point after a quarter of play was a gratifying moment. It signified the roster comprising of ten seniors is starting to adhere to the “Norris Brand.”
However, Norris, who was the previous boys basketball head coach at San Marcos, said he also is hoping to build upon the success of a Dripping Springs’ program that reached the playoffs last year.
“I told them, ‘what y’all did last year, I’m just trying to build on it,’” Norris said. “I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel.”
Helping Norris is a roster filled to the brim with game-tested veterans including last year’s starting five of Danielle Northrup, Cassie Louthan, Madi North, Sarah Nading and Shelbye Hartman.
While it took a few days for the team to transition to the coaching change, Norris said he has been pleased with the work ethic and how eager the team is to learn new skills. Changes include installing a hard brand of man-to-man defense. which he has “hung his hat on.”
So far, the change has been successful for the Tigers, which have started the year 6-1 and are currently the No. 8 ranked team in Class 5A.
“It’s getting them to play with more aggressive style than what they did last year,” Norris said. “More man-to-man and pressing full court. They have adjusted to it really well.”
Having the opportunity to coach the Lady Tigers was something Norris said he couldn’t pass up. It stemmed from watching the team play during the 2016 season.
“I saw this group play and I felt like, if I could have a chance to coach this team, I would,” Norris said. “Turned it happened.”
He now plans to navigate the Lady Tigers through a district that includes perennial powerhouses in Kerrville Tivy, Boerne Champion and Alamo Heights.
“We’re going to take things one game at a time and try to get better each game,” Norris said. “We have a shot of getting in the playoffs and winning district. But it’s going to take a lot of hard work.”