Lady Mustangs hope to exceed preseason predictions in basketball
Last updated 11/20/2023 at 12:47pm
Last year did not go as planned for the West Orange-Stark Lady Mustangs in basketball it was a little bit of a struggle. The outlook for the Lady Mustangs this season is optimistic and hopefully will be a success.
West Orange-Stark won several key district games early last season making the prospects of a playoff berth a possibility. The loss of several girls on the roster was the cause for the Lady Mustangs not making it to the post season.
Lady Mustang Coach Jaden Towner Spell identified the turning point for West Orange-Stark. "It was very hopeful in the beginning of last season, but we lost a very key defensive player towards the end which really hurt us. I think structurally as a team it didn't let us stay jelling together it kind of broke us a little bit. Overall, when we finished it was right where we needed to be," Spell recalled.
Four Lady Mustangs return to the varsity this season. All four returners were starters which gives Coach Spell a good foundation to build on for the new campaign. Spell expressed, "This year, hopefully, we can pick it up and keep it rolling."
Two post players were leaders last year and are expected to be the strengths for WOS this season. Marilynn Guillory and Jordyn Patton should be top scorers again for the Lady Mustangs as well as contributing with strong rebounding. "Marilynn and Jordyn can get it done on the boards, with rebound, rebound, rebound," Spell promised.
The guard positions are covered by Nathia Allison and Carlysia Simien who are back. Spell added, "Nathia was my shooter last year, so I'm hoping that she can get hot this year and stay hot. Carlysia is our point guard and literally one of our best ball handlers, so I hope she can handle the ball for us."
Coach Spell plans to use nine Lady Mustangs on the varsity. She will have five new girls playing with the four returning starters.
Angel Cooper is not technically new to the varsity as she did move up from the junior varsity last year to see some playing time the last half of district with the varsity. "Now Angel's really going to have to be put in for a lot more minutes than she got in last year," Spell indicated.
Freshman Jadalynn Wilson is Jordyn Patton's younger sister. Even though she is only a freshman Jadalynn should see a lot of minutes on the court for WOS according to Spell.
Two backups at post are Madison Norman and Kya Hayden. Another Lady Mustang will be Tykeria Montgomery coming off the bench when needed.
Spell evaluated, "Those nine girls are our varsity and the core of the program. They are doing what we need them to do collectively. Of course there's always things you can fix and correct, but at this moment and time I think we're going to be okay."
The basketball season got underway the second week of November for West Orange-Stark. Two road games were played in Kountze and in Burkeville that first week of the new season.
Kountze defeated the Lady Mustangs in the opener. "They did beat us, but the Lionettes are ranked in Class 3A. We went there, and I think it was just a little bit of a shock because we played them last year and they were better this year. We didn't compete with toughness and the fight in the game. I just attribute that to being the opening game of the season with our first game of the year that was a tough matchup," Spell surmised.
The second game was more of a boost for West Orange-Stark. Spell stated the win over Burkeville helped increase the confidence for the Lady Mustangs. It was a good collective team effort with everyone getting into the scorebook during the game.
Tournament action got underway for West Orange-Stark prior to the Thanksgiving break. The Lady Mustangs played in the Splendora Tournament and then will play in the Big Sandy Tournament the first weekend in December.
Spell assessed the progress of the Lady Mustangs. Spell stated, "There's a few things we need to work on individually, small things that just go down with fundamentals like locking the ball up on a rebound, making sure we make nice crisp chest passes, and things of that sort. So far, I really think we're doing what we need to do."
The expectations for the West Orange-Stark Lady Mustangs this season are high. Prognosticators have picked the Lady Mustangs as a playoff contender in their district.
WOS hopes to make believers of the rest of the district opponents. "I really do have high expectations as they have picked us to finish fourth in the district. Of course we always want to finish higher than we're predicted, and that's the goal, and we should finish higher than fourth. The Lady Mustangs are going to go as far as the basketball gods will take us," Spell concluded.