| Abilene Reporter-News
Wylie Lady Bulldogs
Head coach: Amy Powell (17th season, 3rd at Wylie)
Last year’s record: 18-16, 5-3 in District 4-5A (tied 1st place)
Last district title: 2020 (four-way tie)
Last playoff appearance: 2020 (Lost to Amarillo High 72-39 in Region I-5A bi-district round)
Returning lettermen/starters: 6/3
Players to watch: Makinlee Bacon, guard, 5-6, Sr.; Morgan Travis, guard, 5-6, Sr.; Caroline Steadman, guard, 5-5, So.; Kenyah Maroney, post, 5-10, Jr.; Emma Melton, guard, 5-7, Sr.
Coach Powell says: “We bring back some experience. Last year, we basically brought up a whole JV team. … Now with these six that are returning, they have a full year of varsity under their belt. So, the game doesn’t seem quite too fast for them anymore, they’ve adjusted to the speed of the game. Experience and maturity, we’re hoping, is going to pay off for us this year.”
Notes: The Lady Bulldogs bring back six players who spent the full season on varsity, but also have Caroline Steadman and Kaylan Adams back. They were moved up from JV at different points of the year. Emma Melton also is back after missing last year due to an injury. Melton joins a guard group that includes first-team all-district selection Bacon, second-team all-district selection Travis and Steadman along with junior transfer Morgan Tipton which will need to be a strength for Wylie this year.
“We are not going to be a big team this year, by any means,” Powell said. “That’s probably going to be a disadvantage for us if we get into teams that are lining up a bunch of 6-footers. … We’re hoping our speed and, I think, we have a real gritty tenacity with our guards can maybe compensate for the size (disadvantage) we’re going to have.”
Inside, the Lady Bulldogs will rely on Maroney and Adams for size along with the return of Ceci Widder and Mason Lambert in the post.
District 4-5A has a new look this year as Wylie and Cooper go west with Lubbock Coronado, Lubbock-Cooper, Lubbock High and Lubbock Monterey. There’s a bit of an unknown there, but the Lady Bulldogs know there will be a lot of good basketball.
“This area of west Texas basketball is just good basketball. I think we went to a tougher district with realignment,” Powell said. “Lubbock-Cooper had a great run last year out of a tough district with Amarillo and Lubbock Monterey had a great run getting to the regional semifinals. We don’t know a whole lot of what to expect from Coronado and Lubbock High.”
Along with a tough schedule and district, Wylie will be battling a new normal, as well.
“This year we’ve told the kids, it’s a day-by-day basis. Practices are a day-by-day basis, games are going to be a day-by-day basis. We know that there’s going to be cancellations and reschedules and time changes and we’re going to have to be able to roll with the punches.”
Date … Opponent … Time
Nov. 6 … Abilene High … 5 p.m.
Nov. 10 … at Wichita Falls Rider … 5 p.m.
Nov. 17 … Wall … 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 23 … at Amarillo Caprock … 6 p.m.
Nov. 24 … at Amarillo High … 4:15 p.m.
Dec. 1 … Merkel … 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 4 … at Jim Ned … 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 5 … Fredericksburg … 1 p.m.
Dec. 8 … at San Angelo Central … 6:15 p.m.
Dec. 11 … at Cisco … 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 15 … at Midland High … 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 18 … at Brownwood … 3:30 p.m.
Dec. 28 … Plainview … 3:30 p.m.
Dec. 30 … at Stephenville … 1:30 p.m.
Jan. 5 … at Lubbock Monterey* … 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 8 … Lubbock Coronado* … 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 12 … Lubbock-Cooper* … 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 15 … at Lubbock High* … 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 19 … Cooper* … 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 22 … Lubbock Monterey* … 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 26 … at Lubbock Coronado* … 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 29 … at Lubbock-Cooper* … 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 2 … Lubbock High* … 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 5 … at Cooper* … 6:30 p.m.
*District 4-5A contest