The Sealy Lady Tigers girls’ basketball team has started their season with a 43-26 victory over Weimar at home in their season opener. The game came off a just over a week of preseason practice as head coach Anthony Branch had his full roster after volleyball’s season ended Nov. 2.
For Branch, the main focus of the preseason was making sure the team’s conditioning was up to par with what it will take for the team to be competitive in the district this year.
“A lot of these girls I know are going to play hard and we’re going to need to develop our bench as the season goes along so we’re going to need to rely on them for sure,” Branch said. “I’ve got kids that have been with me for three years now so they are the leaders on this team.”
One of the main ways Branch ensures his seniors embrace their roles as the team leaders is whenever something is going wrong in practice whether it be effort, poor shot decisions, etc., he instructs them to pull the team together and get their minds right.
“As a team we’re really close so we can tell them something constructive and they don’t take it to heart so we can get at each other without taking it personally,” Senior McKayla Black said.
Branch said he’s confident that the team will be able to better reach its full potential after a few games are under the team’s belt.
“The four juniors on the team are going to realize how much faster the varsity game is so the more games they play the more they’ll start to realize it,” Branch said. “Practicing is one thing but the game speed is something much more different.”
Branch said developing the bench and ensuring they learn through their mistakes early on throughout the season will be key to the team’s later success later on in the season.
The team has a busy start to the season as they play in the Lady Yoe Tournament at Cameron Yoe High School this weekend.
“When districts starts, we’ll already be conditioned and should help us be tougher than anyone else in the district because we’ll have played so many games already,” Black said. “We’re a new team and haven’t really played together much so these early games and tournaments should help us play better down the road when it really counts.”
After the team is done competing in the Lady Yoe Tournament, their next home game will be against Shiner on Tuesday, Nov. 21.