The Tolar girls have a rookie captain steering their ship this season, and she’s excited about what she’s seen so far while gazing out over the ocean in front of them.
Benita Carlton, who took over as the head basketball coach of the Lady Rattlers after serving as assistant to Brent Kilpatrick, said her players may be small and young overall but they have shown promise.
The Lady Rattlers’ streak of consecutive postseason appearances ended at eight when they lost a third-place playoff to Boyd last season. Carlton believes they can start anew.
“Right now, we have a chance to be pretty good. As long as we can build on that, we have a shot at making the playoffs,” said Carlton.
“I think I have five or six players who may average 6-8 points a game. They are working well as a team. They’re getting along better than last year.”
Carlton said she believes the players will respond well to having a new coach who “expects more out of them” – plus she likes their team chemistry.
The varsity has only three seniors and one junior. The other five are sophomores.
Returning lettermen from last season’s 24-9 squad likely to start include 5-10 senior post Kacey Frazier, 5-3 senior point guard Brianna Rogers and 5-7 senior wing Logan Chandler. Also, sophomores Hanna Peregrino, a 5-8 forward, and 5-7 point guard/wing Shelby Nunley. along with 5-9 junior post Carly Knapp, lettered.
Carlton said Frazier has impressed her with improvement in the areas of ball handling and leadership, and is more comfortable with her shot. Rogers started out “carrying the team” with great leadership skills in scrimmages.
Chandler had played post in the past, but switched back to wing where she feels more comfortable, Carlton said.
Carlton said the defensive scheme will depend on the opponent. She’d rather employ man-to-man, “but if I have to run zone, I will.”
On offense, Carlton said, “If we can, we will transition – get it down court as fast as possible – but also under control.”
Carlton said she expects Godley, preseason No. 12 in the stateby the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, to be a strong playoff contender in District 10-2A, saying “They know how to win.”
Grandview, which won its district last year before being realigned with Tolar, will also be tough, she said.
“I don’t think there’s a huge standout (team),” Carlton said. “I think there will be a big fight every night,” and that it will come down to who wants to who wants to win the most.”
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