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Girls’ Basketball Preview: What’s in Store for Howe, Van Alstyne

Leader Photo by Jack Walker  Howe's Riley Harvey (22)Buy Photo
Leader Photo by Jack Walker Howe's Riley Harvey (22)
Leader Photo by Jack Walker  Van Alstyne's Maddie HornBuy Photo
Leader Photo by Jack Walker Van Alstyne's Maddie Horn

The great winter snow/ice storm of 2013 will go down in history as a “10-year event.”

Grandparents will gather their young-uns’ around in 30 years or so and speak about those impossible days when bread flew off the shelves of local grocery merchants and 18-wheeler drivers were stuck at the Van Alstyne McDonald’s for days.

Four days of school, and counting, were canceled along with the sports events scheduled for that week.

Just as district play was up on the girls basketball calender, we became homebound until even a trip to Wal-Mart qualified as an adventure.

With little information to go on, fear not for we will make our annual, sure-to-go-wrong predictions on how the 2013-14 season will play out.

(Editors note: the following information is for entertainment purposes only)

Howe plays in District 11-2A and Van Alstyne in District 12-2A which appears, on paper at least, to be the stronger of the two leagues. Sunnyvale went into district play with an impressive 14-0 record with a highlight win over Martins Mill on its resume. In the interest of full disclosure it should be pointed out that Sunnyvale beat Caddo Mills in the only district game played to date.

We have seen Farmersville play a couple of times and came away impressed with their depth. The Lady Farmers have a couple of big girls who can score from down low and rebound; No. 23, Brittany Rich, can fill it up from the perimeter.

Gunter always has good teams and 2013 is no exception. Regan Hestand will be one of the district’s premier players and Emily Bruner adds length to the front line for the Lady Tigers.

Four teams from the district will qualify for the postseason and the fourth team will be the winner of a slugfest between Van Alstyne, Leonard and Pilot Point. We don’t believe Caddo Mills can hang with the rest of the teams in the league.

Van Alstyne’s success will depend on its offensive improvement. The Lady Panthers have been very inconsistent in the early going and that will have to change if they are to make a playoff run.

The talent is there on this young team.

District 11-2A is a bigger puzzle, as the limited early schedule has provided little information on the strengths of this league.

There’s not any question, at least in my unbiased mind, that Howe has the best individual player in the district.

Riley Harvey is as good as any girls’ player that we have seen, and that includes Joey Bailey and Jordan Barncastle.

Missing from the Howe equation is 12 years of varsity experience that graduated last spring. The young players on this Lady Bulldog team will have to improve over these next couple of months to repeat as district champions.

Bells is a team that stands out to me, perhaps because we have seen them play three times and they have been very impressive. Juniors Katie Shults and Carlee Shelby are the Lady Panthers’ leading scorers and both can light it up from outside.

Whitewright has been a surprising team, and not in a positive way. We expected the Lady Tigers to take a step up in their development this year but that has not been the case. Sydney Brummett, Anna Shope and Landry Rhoten could still make some noise in the district chase.

Pottsboro suffered some injury issues early in the season but we expect the Lady Cardinals to be one of the contenders down the road.

Whitesboro made some impressive strides last season but it has a new coach and has been very up-and-down in the 2013-14 campaign.

Our pick for the top four would be (drum roll please) Bells, Pottsboro, Howe and Whitewright.

We will let you know in late January how our picks pan out.

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