McKinney Girls Basketball: Pre-District Check-In
Twelve games into a 28-game schedule is enough to get a sense of what type of team you are right before the season flips from holiday tournaments to the district slate.
At 7-5, the McKinney girls basketball team is showing solid signs of improvement despite having some struggles with scoring consistency and missing a couple of key starters. After going 1-3 during its most recent tournament appearance, McKinney has bounced back with two solid defensive games, beating Arlington Bowie 32-25 and Highland Park 41-24.
After a trip to Colorado this weekend, head coach Debbie Harris and the McKinney girls basketball team open up district play with games against Prosper and Allen before the Mansfield Spring Creek classic.
The early portion has been a grind for the Lionettes, says Harris.
"We have been without Taylor Jackson and Trinity White for the past several games," she said. "[Jackson] played limited minutes on Monday vs. HP as that was her first game back. Trinity White is one of our top offensive players and is out for an unknown period of time with a knee injury. Both are leaders on our team and in terms of our stats."
Luckily, Harris has had a couple of freshmen step up in Adaugo Okpala and Emily Harrison, but having a senior-laden team has been crucial for Harris' team, which has had a fair share of problems scoring, admits Harris.
"We have had some really good looks, so I think it is something that will certainly improve. I really think some of it is simply a hyped desire to fill the void with Trinity and TJ out and our nerves are often getting the best of us," she added.
Still there is optimism for the Lionettes. After finishing 4-9 last year in district play, Harris sees great things for her team as it works Jackson back into the fold and hopes for a good diagnosis for White. But for those great things to occur, the rest of the McKinney roster will have to keep focusing on the details and maximizing effort each and every moment.
"Our effort on boards is much better than it has been," Harris said. "We are making some good game time adjustments.; just continuing to discuss the importance of getting better every time we take the floor"
All this leading to the most important part of the schedule - district. McKinney competes in a stacked 9-6A district with the likes of Allen, Plano and Plano East, but there are quality teams up and down the district and each game will be a physical battle. One that Harris believes her team is ready for this year.
"I think we can physically compete with everyone in our district. We are playing some solid defense and being very physical on the boards. The key for us is both making shots that we need to make - open 3s, FTs and paint shots - and staying out of foul trouble. If we have to sit a couple of starters and have one to two starters out with injury, we will struggle."
McKinney missed the playoffs last year after making it to the second round in the 2017-18 season, so the goal is to get back to the tournament and make some noise. To get there, the Lionettes will have to continue to play 'true team basketball and not quitting when things get tough.'