20 Oct, 2021
DeSoto Girls Basketball Twitter (@DeSotoEaglesGBB)
There's no doubt that DeSoto has a slew of stars on their girl's basketball team. Earlier this week, two of the reigning state champions made big-time commitments to college programs. Three-star senior guard Michayal Gatewood and four-star all-state Sa'Myah Smith took to Twitter earlier this week to announce their commitments to different universities.
Previously commited to Texas Tech, Gatewood took to Twitter on Monday to announce her commitment to Kansas State:
Gatewood missed last season due to a torn ACL. Prior to her injury, Gatewood was leading DeSoto in scoring. Her commitment falls in line with teammate Ja'Mia Harris who de-commited from Texas Tech in September and commited to Kansas State on October 3. The three-star recruit will return to the DeSoto squad this season and can be expected to be back at the top of her performance.
Smith, the No. 1 recruit in the DFW area and ESPN's HoopGurlz's fifth best player in the state took to Twitter to announce her commitment to play college ball at at LSU:
Despite a season-ending torn ACL during her sophomore season, Smith had an outstanding junior season last year where she was named as the MVP of the UIL Class 6A State Title game after scoring 10 points and nabbing 14 rebounds in DeSoto's win. Smith can be expected to continue her regular dominance on the court this season for DeSoto.
DeSoto's D1 Commits
With the commitments, DeSoto girls basketball now has seven returning athletes who are committed to Division I programs. The Lady Eagles return SMU commit Jiya Perry, Kansas State commits Gatewood and Harris, Mississippi commit Ayanna Thompson, Kentucky commit Tionna Herron, LSU commit Smith, and Texas commit Amina Muhammad.
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By Justin Hartojo
New Concordia Lutheran coach Branden Smeltzer is a self-proclaimed numbers nerd.
He sees the game in percentages and as a chess match.
"If you understand the numbers, you will have success," Smeltzer said. "We are very detailed in the data. Our serve retrieve numbers were down in the middle of the season, so worked on passing all that week. Setting our middle percentages should be higher so we do a ton of reps slow down our offense to get those up.
"If you don't know the numbers, you don't know what to work on. It's like the 'Money Ball' movie."
Smeltzer has also brought a new culture inside the locker room of accountability and learning.
"We teach the game much more," he said. "Look, I'm a player's coach but I have very defined boundaries. For instance, if you are late to practice or the bus, you sit. If you don't pick up the classroom after our pregame meal, it's burbies for everyone. That just the deal."
His stars are shining even more brightly as well. Sophia Keene is doing "Sophie Keene" things. The Baylor-commit had 22 kills in three-set win over The Village School. Sydney Whitfield is becoming a "breakout star" this season before heading to Liberty University.
The surprise has been hitter Caitlin Stein.
"She has been a stud," he said. "Everyone focuses on Sophie and Sydney but now you have to deal with Caitlin. She has been killing it."
The setters, Addy Polk and Anna Schatz, have improved greatly and will be key on the 'Saders playoff run.
In the middle are Haley Manjack and Faith Wilkins, who could be difference-makers as they get fed more with sets.
"They are way under set. They are set 18-percent of the time and I need that about 30-percent," he said. "That middle-setter relationship is really improving."
He's happy with his defense.
"Kylie Bray a beast on defense and Brooke Austin comes in to help," he said.
The numbers don't lie as Concordia Lutheran is 30-7 and wrapping up regular season play. Their only loss came to state-power St. Agnes in a 5-set classic. They could meet again in the postseason.
"I think we are a dark horse for state," he said. "We should get to the show but there is some improvement we still have to make to get there."
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Welcome to another week of H-Town High School Sports with Todd Freed!
The Baytown Lee Ganders are exceeding expectations this season lead by coach Tim Finn who get the nod for Coach of the Week!
Be sure to check out H-Town High School Sports Saturday's at 10:30pm on CW39 Houston, plus, throughout the week on AT&T SportsNet. CLICK HERE for more great video content from H-Town High School Sports.
Here's something to cheer about! The ARS team is offering $50 off any service or repair to show our support for Houston area high school sports. ARS is available 24/7 to help with all your AC, Heating, Plumbing, Drain Cleaning and Electrical needs. Call ARS Rescue Rooter at 777-7777 or visit ARS.com.
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