Lady Tigers working on next b-ball season
Friday, 15 June 2012 by Chuck Kelly
With one full year under her belt as Belton's head girls' basketball coach, Brenda Gomez , says that things are really starting to look good and she has high expectations for next fall.
The veteran coach who holds five state high school titles from previous teams wasn't satisfied with the production of her team in her first season here but she now says that she is excited about the entire girls' athletic program.
"We've been doing a lot of stuff in the off-season, getting much, much better at the fundamental part as far as learning the system....that has been a huge difference since February," she explained. "I think the kids are 'buying in'. They've been playing in summer league and have been pretty successful. They are playing hard and really giving 100%, putting in some extra time. We're learning patience. That was my biggest downfall this year. I'd never had to be so patient....and the kids were trying, more than I could ever imagine. It just wasn't as quick as I wanted."
Now, she says, they know that this is going to work. The players know that hard work is making a difference and she believes that they understand that now. As Gomez puts it --- If you don't work hard, you're never going to get anywhere!
"Since we have developed the fundamentals, I think we will be able to score better," said the coach. "We have several different combinations with post and point guard. I think we'll be a little more flexible next fall. You know, toward the end of this season, Lindsey Dunahoo was stepping outside and shooting three's . We're going to spread the floor better, penetrate to the paint and score that way a little better than last year. I'm going to try a one post offense and, probably, a lot of 'pick and roll'. On defense, we're going to play a little more "junk D'....opponents won't really know if we are in 'man' or 'zone' or what side of the floor it's going. Our 'press' will be better."
Coach Gomez points out that her sophomores that got a lot of playing time will be juniors next season with a full year of varsity experience under their belt and that will help. "That will definitely be an advantage that we will have," she commented.
"We will have pretty good depth and we have some younger kids coming up that have been doing some good things in the off season. They will get some quality playing time," said Gomez. "No height yet but we have some incoming freshmen, so the next three years or so, we will look different."
As far as point guard, the coach is pretty excited about a freshman that played JV this year.
"I think that Aubriana Garcia has matured and decided that this is what she wants to do. Emily Hugo will play from post to point guard. She is just that important to us and several others can step in and handle the ball," she said. "There's Briana Ragland, who was a starter last year; Suzie Williams, a guard who started some; Suzy Fowler's shot is really coming along and we will have a good threat on the outside from her shooting from the wing and corners. We're still working on shooters. We are trying to change technique right now."
As far as district opponents next season, coach Gomez predicts that Temple will be the biggest --- "They will have all but one back, I think. They'll be very good inside. They have been working on their team play and they will be extremely tough."
Midway --- "They always have a good basketball tradition, of course."
Ellison --- "The Eagles wil have quite a few players back."
Harker Heights --- "They graduated a lot."
Killeen --- "We played them in the off season and were able to compete."
"I know that people are going to be shocked at the outcome of many of our games because we WILL be in the mix," Gomez stated. "Our kids are that determined and have developed that much in just a little time and, remember, we still have the summer and fall of next year. I'm expecting good things and I believe the players are, too."
Depth, maturity, fundamentals better, shooting better, familiarity with the system --- that will make a big difference next season.
Opponents beware "The eye of the (Lady) Tiger"