More athletic Lady Elks adjusting to new schemes
After a rough District 9-5A campaign last season, Burleson girls basketball coach Curtis Enis scrapped his offense and defense.
“I threw everything away,” Enis said. “I was so frustrated with the way the district season went. I took everything we did and I threw it in the trash, and said, ‘We are starting over.’ I went to some clinics and talked to other coaches about changing my offense and defense. It will be completely different.”
Enis tried to find the right fit offensively and defensively for his squad, which will be much more athletic this season.
“We are going to be more aggressive defensively and play more wide open on offense based on motion,” Enis said. “Everyone is going to have to handle the ball, pass the ball and rebound. Defensively, people are going to have to play multiple positions. I think it fits this group better. We are a more athletic team, so let’s play a more athletic style of play.”
The roster for the Lady Elks will be a mixture of veteran players, junior varsity newcomers and some talented freshmen. The one common theme among all the players on the roster is that they played a lot of basketball during the off-season.
“The skill level is better,” Enis said. “We handle the ball better and pass it better. Our shooting is better. We can run the floor and are able to press people.”
The only area where the Lady Elks have been struggling is on defense. However, Enis said that will come along. Learning a new defense sometimes is harder that adjusting to a new offense.
The Lady Elks, who went 9-21 overall last season and 0-14 in district play, will be led by three seniors – post Sarah Reid, forward Jailah Ivory, and point guard Carlen Payne — who is returning from a knee injury.
“They are our leaders,” Enis said. “They are doing the things I have asked from our leaders. They are being vocal and getting the players settled down.”
Also back is junior point guard Caitlyn Kirkham, a second-team all-district player last season. Enis said Kirkham played a ton this summer and just keeps getting better and better.
Coming up from the junior varsity will be sophomore guard Kameryn Johnson, who would have played varsity last season, but missed the year with an injury. Sophomore point guard Rylee Moseley, sophomore guard Kiersten Harris and sophomore forwards Madison McCall and Tylee Prater and also making the leap to varsity.
Enis is also counting on solid contributions from freshmen guards Kate Renner and Maleigha Landers.
The Lady Elks opened their season Tuesday night with a 49-30 win at Alvarado. Kirkham scored a game-high 18 points in the win.
The Lady Elks play Friday at Fort Worth Nolan Catholic and host Mansfield Lake Ridges on Monday.