Jasper Girls Hoops Rolling Through District 20-4A (W/ PODCAST)
The Jasper Lady Bulldogs are peaking at just the right time with playoff competition only a fortnight away. Ranked fourteenth in the latest 4A Texas Girls Coaches Association poll, Brandon Shumake's crew has delivered wide ranging wins since November.
With wins over multiple 5A schools already this season, this senior laden squad is poised to smash past last years area round loss to Midlothian Heritage. Lead by daughter Kinley Shumake the third year coach also relies on top scorer Asia Mitchell (17ppg), Heaven Scott, and Amiah Mcqueen to fortify the teams winning personality.
"The four seniors have all started since they were sophomores," said Shumake.
"They bought in early with a 'team first' attitude, who cares who gets the credit. They not only go to the gym as a group they bring the younger players, always working on their shots."
Jasper is currently 27-5 on the season after their district win Friday night over Hudson.
Their preseason included impressive wins over 5A teams Montgomery (83-33), Tomball (70-36), PNG twice (64-36, 55-40), Vidor (87-19) and Port Arthur Memorial 62-30. The Lady Bulldogs narrowly missed a defining upset over 5A powerhouse Barbers Hill with a 51-50 loss.
Now their focus is finishing out the season, getting a top seed with a district championship and establishing a legacy with a strong playoff push. Last year the Lady Bulldogs lost to Midlothian Heritage in the area round 75-46 on the Sam Houston State campus.
"I don't think we were quite prepared for that experience," said Shumake.
"We were a young group playing in a big game in a big arena. We set our schedule this year so that wouldn't happen to us again. We played big arenas against the toughest competition we could find."
"This year we're a little bit more prepared, a little bit more seasoned, and a little bit more ready for the moment."
The 4A state tournament begins March 6 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Jasper has made the state tournament twice in school history. In 1965 the Lady Bulldogs lost to Victoria 61-60 in the state semifinals and in 1953 they lost to Whitesboro 40-39 in the quarterfinals.*
To listen to a podcast interview with Jasper head girls basketball coach Brandon Shumake click on the play button below.
*University Interscholastic League Archives (online)