Improved play all around guided the Lehman Lady Lady Lobos basketball team to an 8th place overall finish at the 24-team Hays CISD Classic tournament, of which they were co-hosts.
While more work still needs to be done, Lady Lady Lobos head coach Brad Taylor said the success provides a boost of confidence for the Lady Lobos as they continue district play this week. Lehman dropped to 0-2 in district after a 28-23 loss to Westlake Tuesday.
“The main thing I noticed is that they are playing together,” Taylor said. “The first few weeks, we had individuals playing basketball. That can’t work when you’re trying to play a team sport.”
Lehman opened tournament play Nov. 29 with a blowout 43-point win over Austin Reagan, followed by a 59-34 victory over Elgin. Taylor said the team played with maximum effort in both games and excelled on the defensive side. On the offensive end, Lehman limited turnovers and focused on player movement away from the shooter.
During the first few weeks of the season, Taylor said players were standing around and not moving off of the ball.
Lobo sophomore guard Kayla Presley credited team chemistry and communication as factors that led to first day success.
“We trusted each other and it really got us through those first two games,” Presley said.
Lehman carried that momentum into the opening game of the Championship bracket, where they kept pace with San Marcos for the better part of three quarter.
Fatigue, mixed with communication problems on the court, hurt the Lady Lobos, who were outscored by the Rattlers 15-4 in the final frame. While the Lady Lobos played two “complete quarters” against San Marcos, it wasn’t enough to secure the win, Taylor said.
Consistency issues continued in the Lady Lobos’ game against Lake Travis Nov. 30. The inability to score points and match a physical Cavalier effort sunk the Lady Lobos in a 41-24 defeat. Lehman closed the tournament with a 10-point loss to McNeil in the 7th place game.
Taylor said the Lady Lobos continue to fight consistency issues, primarily on offense. As a result, those struggles can often trickle down to defense and impact play, Taylor said.
Presley said taking care of the fundamentals will be the key point to work on as they move ahead. During games against Lake Travis and San Marcos, Lehman reverted to bad habits such as not boxing out for rebounds, as well as playing to another team’s tempo.
With a lack of height across the board, Taylor said employing a physical mentality is needed for the Lady Lobos, especially in a district where nearly every team has a size advantage over them. Taylor also plans for his team to improve its shooting across the board.
As a team, Taylor said the Lady Lobos don’t shoot the ball enough outside of practice. Shooting the ball 300 to 400 times per day, including doing so outside of practice, is needed for success.
“The main thing is making sure we get extra shots and are shooting the ball more. I told them to make extra time to shoot the ball and not have any down time,” Taylor said. “Practice is not going to be enough to get where we need to be at.”
While there are kinks to work out, Presley said the tournament was beneficial for the team as it continues through the season. That includes getting a leg up on Lake Travis, whom they play Friday at Lake Travis.
“Everyone has confidence and trust and it builds our chemistry and helps us play as a team,” Presley said. “And it really helps our bench. It’s just beautiful.”