The Wylie Girls Varsity Basketball team wants to win a state championship this season, and they want it bad.
Last year, the team advanced to the state championship game and lost 46-25 to Argyle, and the sting of that defeat still burns.
Not only do they want to get back to the state championship, but they want to play Argyle again.
“I want to play them,” said senior Madi Garcia. “Argyle was a good team, but we shouldn’t have lost by 20 points. I think we were all super nervous, and we let our nerves get the better of us.”
The Lady Bulldogs lost a strong group of seniors from that team but has a strong group of seven new seniors, many of whom have experience at the state tournament. Two years ago, the team finished 3rd at the state tournament, and last year it finished second.
This year they want first.
Leading the charge is 6’4’’ senior Brittany Brewer, who is a four-year starter and has already committed to play next year at Texas Tech University. Seniors Shannon Seale, Daylee White, Madi Garcia, Makaela Mosley and Alissa Lackey give the team strong senior leadership, and senior Kami Jackson transferred from Cooper and has already developed chemistry with the team.
“She fits right in,” Alissa said.
Kami said she loves being at Wylie.
It’s really different,” she said. “We just play well together. It’s better than my old school.”
In fact, the team’s chemistry is even better this year than it was last year, Makaela said.
“We’ve bonded a lot more than last year’s team,” she said. “We play like a team. We have learned everyone’s strengths and weaknesses and how to play with each other.”
That teamwork did not come easily. For the last two years, the current seniors took a back seat to the strong players in front of them. But this summer, the group played four tournaments together that helped them learn how to take that leadership back.
“The summer was a difficult time for us learning how to be the leaders of our team again,” Shannon said. “We hadn’t done that in a long time.”
“That’s where we started to figure out how each of us plays,” she said.
The girls adjusted quickly and are off to a strong start to the season. The team won the championship at the Polk Key City Classic, beating Jim Ned 41-36. They had big wins over rivals Abilene High School and Cooper High School during the non-district schedule.
With Brittany and Makaela in the center, height and rebounding are strengths of the team.
“It’s great to have height in there,” Shannon said. “If Brittany is getting double teamed, Makaela steps in.”
That also helps the shooters get open looks.
“We can move the ball once around the perimeter and be open due to the double teams,” Shannon said.
District play starts in mid-January, and the Lady Bulldogs will begin their march back to state. Brownwood will likely be Wylie’s biggest test in district, and Stephenville is always tough.
But the girls have their sites set on Argyle, which is ranked No. 1 in the state.
“We actually met them in the summer this year,” Shannon said. “We only lost by seven or so. It wasn’t much, and we didn’t have everyone there.”
The girls hope that their state experience, a tough non-district schedule against 5A and 6A teams and their improved teamwork and chemistry will help them reach their ultimate goal.
“We want to return to state and finish what we started,” Madi said.