Lady Indians ranked with best – well, half

December 14, 2013

The Lipan Lady Indians are one of the best basketball teams in Texas. At least the folks in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches think so.

Not so sure about those in the Texas Girls Coaches Association.

The Lady Indians (10-1) are ranked second in Class A Division II by the TABC. Now, where are they in the TCGA poll?

Go ahead, take a close look. We can wait.

Didn’t find them? Neither did we.

How does a team that almost knocked off five-time defending Class 2A state champion Brock – which is currently No. 1 in the TGCA poll and No. 2 in the TABC ranks, by the way – not even get a sniff of the TGCA rankings?

Lady Indians coach Amber Branson said the oversight could be the result of her not reporting information to the TCGA. She does, she said, report to the TABC because they made a request for such information.

I realize there are a lot of schools in this big ol’ state of ours. But if the reason Lipan isn’t ranked is because no one at the school has told the TGCA how good they are, that makes about as much sense as Monte Kiffin still coordinating the Dallas Cowboys defense next season.

Do the folks at the TGCA not have access to computers? Could they not take a glance at the TABC rankings and get an idea that Lipan is pretty darn good and should be given a spot in its own poll?

Sure, coaches should cooperate with pollsters. These guys are not mind readers, but they CAN read. And if there is another poll out there that they can see, maybe they should look into it and see what all the fuss is about why this little school ranked so high.

It’s not as though someone in Lady Indian land is faking their record or credentials. The resume speaks for itself, two trips to state in three seasons, including once in the state finals, ranked first or second for almost all of last season – and virtually every player back from that squad.

This is a basketball team that should be ranked in any poll out there. Who cares if someone didn’t call, fax or email in any particulars?

Would the University of Alabama not be ranked if Nick Saban didn’t contact the college pollsters (which he doesn’t, I’m sure)? Of course not, because when a team is that good, people know it.

Sure, the Lady Indians aren’t on national TV each week, but trust me that word got around about them almost beating Brock. Heck, they DID beat Brock in a warmup game.


Granbury Lady Pirate coach Leta Andrews tried to add the Lady Indians into her tournament this weekend at the last minute. It didn’t work out, but would Andrews have considered making such a move for a school in the smallest division in Texas if they weren’t good enough to provide great competition?

And believe me, the Lady Indians would have been right there with Aledo (No. 2 in 4A), Amarillo (No. 9 in 4A), Stephenville (No. 20 in 3A), and Santo (No. 13 in Class A Division I).

And how cool would it have been to see the Lady Indians face the Lady Pirates, who are on a roll of their own and playing some of the best basketball in the Fort Worth area?

I’m not picking on the good folks in the Texas Girls Coaches Association. The guy who puts together the state rankings is a good man, and I have great respect for him.

Before writing this column I sent him an email asking why Lipan is absent from the TGCA rankings, but received no response before press time.


And I understand that rules are rules, but perhaps this rule of coaches must report should be amended. While doing for this every school is asking a lot, I do believe when a school like Lipan is ranked so high in another poll, maybe someone at the TGCA should make a call or send an email if there is a feeling that information needs to be verified.

Of course you don’t want to copycat the “other” poll, but you also don’t want to have an obvious omission. If the TGCA doesn’t think the Lady Indians are the second-best team in Texas, rank them third, fifth, even 10th, but for goodness sakes, don’t not have them in the poll at all.

Locally, Branson doesn’t put a lot of stock in state rankings, and I respect that. But now that it has been drawn to her attention, if she is going to report information to the TABC, I suggest copying it to the TGCA as well.

On the other hand, it could make for some interesting headlines if the Lady Indians win state. Depending on which poll you follow, the headline could read something like “Lady Indians live up to billing with state title.” Or the headline could say something to the effect of “Surprising Lady Indians come out of nowhere to capture state.”

Surely the TGCA folks would read that.

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