Lady Marlins eye tough opponents
Four of last year’s Lady Marlins have graduated. That team nailed down second place in district and advanced as far as the regional quarterfinals before being outgunned by Center Point.
But when pressed, coach Stephanie Cowen smiled and said she wouldn’t call this year a rebuilding year quite yet.
“We graduated quite a bit of scoring, quite a bit of defensive intelligence, so we’re having to fill those in. I think we’re filling in with good kids, smart kids. But it’s a different speed (of basketball team).”
As far as what those girls face, it’s going to be tough, said Cowen, who has taken a look at district opponents.
While that might be seen as cause for cheering – Falls City is a perennial district favorite – it’s not as good as it sounds, Cowen said: “They lost their height, but what we’ll face this year will be very quick,” she said.
“Basically, we’re the team that lost the most in scoring and players all around.”
The remaining team in the district this year is Kenedy, and little is known about the Lady Lions.
Cowen’s ace in the hole this year is neither size nor experience, but spirit.
“It’s a great group of kids and they work hard, and they’re really getting after it,” she said. “I think they’re getting better. There are little things we need to fix, but they’re little things that have big impact. Too many turnovers in a ballgame (for instance).
Cowen pointed out that in the regional quarter-finals last year, Center Point had one player who the Lady Marlins couldn’t control. That has an effect at every level, but at the 1A level, it’s more pronounced, she said.
While last year’s Lady Marlins settled into roles, Cowen said that might not happen as quickly this year.
“I think with this group, we’re going to see a lot of different roles. Last year, we knew who was going to score for us and who was going to handle the ball. This year, we’re figuring that out still. We’re looking for Anna (Roberson) to shoot. Last year she came in as a reserve and rebounded for us, played really good defense for us, and she was always told if she had a shot she could take it – she has a beautiful shot. Now, she’s not told she can take it, she’s told told if she has a shot, she’d better take it. We need her to score for us.
The backcourt is cause for optimism, Cowen said.
“Our guards, I think, are quick. We’ve added Madison Ray, who’s a freshman. And of course Brenna Martin and Devan Murray.”
That gives the Lady Marlins some ball handling ability.
Cowen’s looking now for some noise on the court – perhaps even some rowdiness.
“We have really quiet leaders this year,” she explained. “They’re leading more by example, and we’re trying to find someone to lead vocally on the floor for us. Probably Ortiz – she has the most experience and handles the ball well.”
Then, what about after district?
“I think our chances are good. I’m not concerned about that,” Cowen said. But she repeated that this year’s district race will be “very competitive.”
“If Falls City is the favorite, which we’ve seen several times now, Woodsboro and us are going to be in the dogfight. Woodsboro’s going to be the problem for us. Pettus’s guards are going to be a problem, but I think we can handle that.”
Cowen smiled and said once again, “It’s a great bunch of players this year.”
The Lady Marlins launch their season with a game against Bloomington in Doyle Marek Gym on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Game time is 5 p.m.
2011-12 Basketball Schedule Home Games are in BOLD TYPE
|1 Refugio (||Scrimmage) V||5|
|8-||10 Aransas Pass||Tourney V||TBA|
|17 *Falls City||JV/V||4|
|21 JV Marlin||Classic JV||TBA|
|3 *Falls City||JV/V||5|
|20/21 Regional||1/4-||final V||TBA|
|24/25 Regional||Tourney V||TBA|
|Head Coach:||Stephanie Cowen|
|Assistant Coach:||Ginger Jones|
|Assistant Coach:||Javier Mendoza|
(Port Aransas, Banquete,
Dallardsville, Big Sandy, Sinton, Taft)