With five of seniors and a handful of juniors on the roster, the Weatherford Lady Roos varsity basketball team has some veteran experience on board as they ready themselves to enter another district campaign for 2012-13.
Also to their advantage, an enhanced mutual understanding between coach and players has been able to cure for more than a year. Head coach Darryn Shearmire, who had a mere six weeks to install a system last year, goes into the district slate with a much better transfer of knowledge to the Lady Roos cagers.
“I think the most progress we have made this year during pre-district has been in our defense,” Shearmire said. “We were so intent in getting the offensive system in place last year, I know we didn’t put enough emphasis on the defensive side.
“But we’ve been able to do more this year with the defense, and at the same time, take the offense up a notch, [system wise].”
The level of success during the non-district schedule illustrates an improved “second nature” benefit as the WHS girls are able to initiate and react within Shearmire’s system.
“I think [the familiarity with the system] has given the girls a little more drive and passion than we generated last year.” Shearmire said. “We have watched ourselves on film from last year and the girls can see so many ways we have improved, and that’s a stepping stone to building the confidence you need.”
The Lady Roos finished just out of the postseason picture last year, finishing the district season with a 6-8 mark in a very tough district membership that includes several teams who are perennial playoff participants.
Shearmire is encouraged by the number of times during the early season the Lady Roos have found themselves with a deficit, but were able to fight back to get back into, and the leadership by example he has seen from some of the girls.
“Lou Hawkins has proven to be one of our toughest players so far this year,” Shearmire said of the senior forward. “She just hangs in there and I don’t think there is any quit in her.
“But you can say that about this team.
There is definitely a will to win with these girls. It’s a progression they have gone through”
Hawkins is one of the more consistent scorers thus far for the Lady Roos, along with junior guard Abbye Shearmire, who is prone to get hot from beyond the 3-point arc. But one of the tendencies Coach Shearmire has seen with the current Lady Roos is the unselfish atmosphere among the squad.
“These girls have learned, and are still learning, to play well together — and they have fun,” he said. “They really don’t care who scores. They like to see how many rebounds they can get or how many deflections. It’s all about the things that are noteworthy to the team, because they realize all of those things help you to win.”
The athletic talent in District 3-5A is formidable, just as it was last year, because the only thing the UIL changed with realignment back in February was the district designation. The members are the same. While Shearmire is sure the intimidation factor may have been in the mix last season because of the formidable competition, he is just as convinced the Weatherford girls are getting to the point of seeing their skills improve and sharing a belief in those skills.
“A colleague of mine once said that ‘coaches don’t put confidence in players. Skill does that’” the coach said. “These girls have elevated their skills over the past year and the confidence gained will no doubt help us to compete in this district.
“Our girls realize, with some of these teams who may be faster of bigger than us, we have to play our game and not be drawn in to playing theirs.”
The pre-district season has presented a nice variety of game situations for the Lady Roos (as is the intent for non-district play), and they have responded well in games where they may have fallen behind early or dealt with the pressure of overtime games.
“We have been in game situations this year and I’ve told the girls ‘these are really good tests for the kind of things we are going to encounter during district’” Shearmire said. “We still have a lot of little things we have to work on and keep improving on, because with some of the teams we will face, our margin of error will be smaller, but I really think our girls realize that and can respond.”
The Lady Roos begin their district campaign on the road Tuesday, facing the Lady Vikings at Arlington Lamar.
2012-13 Lady Roos Basketball
District 3-5A Schedule
Dec. 11, Tues. @ Arlington Lamar 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 14, Fri. Sam Houston 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 18, Tues. Arlington Bowie 6 p.m.
Dec. 21, Fri. @ Arlington Martin 6 p.m.
Jan. 4, Fri. Arlington 6 p.m.
Jan. 8, Tues. Forth Worth Paschal 6 p.m.
Jan. 11, Fri. @ North Crowley 6 p.m.
Jan 15, Tues. Arlington Lamar 6 p.m.
Jan. 18, Fri. @ Arl. Sam Houston 6 p.m.
Jan. 22, Tues. @ Arlington Bowie 6 p.m.
Jan. 25, Fri. Arlington Martin 6 p.m.
Jan. 29, Tues. @ Arlington 6 p.m.
Feb. 1, Fri. @ FW Paschal 6 p.m.
Feb. 5, Tues. No. Crowley (Sr Night) 6 p.m.