Defense key for Lady Elks
During a team meeting last Friday, Burleson basketball coach Curtis Enis was asked what the team needed to do to be successful this season.
Enis’ answer wasn’t glamorous.
He told the players they were going to need to play hard-nosed defense to win.
“We are going to have to turn up the defensive pressure and play tremendous man defense this season,” Enis said. “We aren’t going to win many games with our offense.”
The lack of consistent offense will probably be a weakness all season for the Lady Elks, Enis said.
“This group knows that if they are going to win a game it is going to be through their defense,” Enis said. “We are going to have to win ugly.”
Enis explained that it isn’t a matter of working on offense, its more a matter of younger less experienced players being the main cogs in the Burleson’s offense.
“I just don’t know that the scoring will show up this year,” Enis said. “I think the offense will show up next year when the sophomores and juniors have a year of experience under their belts.”
The Lady Elks return six players from last year’s squad that went 4-11 in district play and 14-17 overall.
Back this season are senior guard Caitlyn Kirkham, junior guards Rylee Moseley and Kamryn Johnson, junior forward Madison McCall, junior post Tylee Prater and sophomore forward Kate Renner. Kirkham was a second-team all-district player last season while Moseley and McCall earned honorable mention accolades.
Added to the starters will be a handful of players who received seasoning with the junior varsity last year including sophomore guards Grace Paden and Jordan Walker, sophomore forward Katie Arguello and sophomore post Emily White. Freshman Trinitee Johnson, a 6-foot, 2-inch post, will also see playing time.
Enis said the squad won’t have a set starting lineup this season and will instead arrange lineups according to the opponent.
“I don’t think we will have a set starting lineup all season,” Enis said.
Odds are Enis will build his lineups around Moseley at point and Kirkham at shooting guard.
Enis said Johnson could be a breakout player this season.
“Trinitee is not going to just be a low post player,” Enis said. “I think people are going to be surprised by her ability to handle the ball and shoot from the perimeter.”
The Lady Elks have plenty of size on the roster with Johnson at 6-2, White and McCall at 6-0.
Paden and Walker should take some pressure off Moseley and Kirkham this season.
“Just from watching us practice and play this summer, Grace Paden and Jordan Walker are extremely valuable to our team,” Enis said. “They can handle the ball, play good defense and are good rebounders for their size.”
Enis said he is excited about the season and the possibilities.
“We have the pieces,” Enis said. “I just don’t know if we are complete yet. This is going to be a fun team to coach. I’m hoping for a fun season.”
The Lady Elks opened their season Monday night with a 50-32 loss at Mansfield Lake Ridge. Arguello led the squad with 10 points.
Burleson hosts Saginaw Chisholm Trail Friday and plays at Keller Fossil Ridge Tuesday afternoon.