GROWTH AND UPSIDE: Aldine Davis Girls Ready To Take Next Step As A Program
ALDINE DAVIS HAS BECOME A PERENNIAL PLAYOFF CONTENDER IN ALDINE ISD.
The Falcons enter the 2019-2020 season seeking the program's seventh-straight appearance in the postseason but are still searching for their first playoff win.
"Everyone says you want to go to the playoffs, but for us we want to win ball games in the postseason," first-year coach Stephanie Smith said. "We don't just want to be there."
Aldine Davis does have some solid players to replace from a year ago, including first-team, all-district selection Leeza De La Garza and second-team picks Kyra Meredith and Demi De La Garza. All three are lost to graduation.
So, who fills those shoes?
Start with seniors Kaaliyah Jackson and Brianna Griffin. Jackson is coming off a year where she averaged 5.1 points per game, while Griffin averaged 3.1.
"I want to see us be able to bond more, come together and win games," Jackson said. "We want to win a lot of games and have that chemistry with each other."
Having a new coach can be challenging at first, but after time their system becomes routine.
Griffin admits the changes have made the program different but a "fun different". The same has been said by junior Armani Stamps, who averaged 3.9 points per game last year.
"Very different, we're in the weight room consistently," Stamps said. "Coach Smith believes in the weight room and the things
we do drill-wise. I feel like we're growing our basketball IQ and we're making better decisions than last year."
Last year, Aldine Davis finished second in District 16-6A.
The Falcons went 20-14 overall and 11-3 in district play, finishing behind undefeated Spring, which posted a 14-0 mark.
For Smith, what attracted her to this job was the "upside" and "potential" in this program and the players are buying in.
"They're coachable," Smith said. "They're coachable kids, they're athletic kids, they're willing to work hard. Right now, they are working as hard as they know how to work. So, it's my job to teach them how to work harder.
"I want to see them grow. I want to see them better at the end of the season than they are right now."