After a haunting playoff overtime loss last season, the Beaumont United Lady Timberwolves are on a mission to make history in 2020.
That 40-39 loss to Pearland in the area round laid the groundwork for this year's team to get past what could have been.
"Our goal is to walk that yellow brick road a little bit farther this year," said BU head girls basketball coach Tammy Walker-Brown.
"The girls are looking forward to going further than we did last year. They saw how our seniors were inconsolable after that loss and they know a loss is a loss, whether you lose by 40 points or by 1."
With only two seniors on this year's squad BU brings youthful athleticism and leadership from their star players including sixth man Taylynn Cooper (2021), Princess Anderson (2022), Cameron Dill (2021), and Takiera Boudreaux (2022).
"Our leaders lead through example and work," said Walker-Brown.
"Its not who can roar the loudest, our leaders are not necessarily seniors but who can take ownership with their work ethic. Cooper comes off the bench for us but leads through her effort, she's our captain. Princess Anderson is our leading scorer and both her and Boudreaux have stepped into leadership roles this season."
The Lady Timberwolves will most likely split the district title with North Shore with both teams splitting victories over each other this year. The playoffs will bring added pressure on who survives to advance with BU primed for a regional title run.
"We're building a foundation here where we can be successful for years to come," said Walker-Brown.
"These girls are developing into great players and I'm excited about what's to come."
The Lady Timberwolves currently are 27-4 and will take on Channelview (2/7) and La Porte (2/11) to end the regular season.
Bi-District playoffs begin the week of February 17.
In only their second year of existence, Beaumont United is steamrolling District 21-6A as the ninth ranked team in Texas 6A. A big part of their success comes from veteran leadership in the names of seniors Kasen Harrison, Justin Pleasant, Jaylen Subject, and Kendris Henry. The Timberwolves are currently 5-0 in district play with recent wins over Westbrook, King, Channelview and La Porte.
Their next district showdown, Tuesday night, is against district rival and 10th ranked North Shore.
Are the Timberwolves ready for primetime heading into the game?
"Anytime you get a win over West Brook it's a good thing," said BU head basketball coach David Green.
"They are always well coached by Coach Boutte, he does a good job preparing his team for district play. Anytime we play each other its always a tough game and if you can come out on top it's always a big win for the program."
Green knows how to build a championship team as he led North Shore to the 5A title back in 2014. He took over Beaumont United in 2018 for the challenge of starting up a new program and to be closer to family. Green is a Silsbee native.
"At the end of the day, when it comes to winning a championship, all your players must do whatever it takes to win," said Green.
"If your players are all on the same page and willing to make sacrifices, to be that 'all in' player, good things will happen. Most of the teams that win are all in, no descension, no hidden agenda's, it all about the team."
Strong senior leadership is the foundation of a strong core and BU has with it the balanced play of Harrison, Pleasant, Subject, and Henry.
"These kids believe in what the coaches are trying to implement and they believe in their teammates and they lead by example," said Green.
"They come to work everyday and are performing at a high level, we just need to keep it going."
Prior to leading North Shore to the state title in 2014 Green head coached at Fort Bend Hightower and began the Port Arthur Memorial boys basketball program in 2005.
To listen to a podcast interview with Coach Green as part of this article click on the "Play" button below.