Improving season ahead

The girls basketball team has struggled in recent years. After a rough season last year, the team has decided to try to turn things around. This season the Lady Demons are off to a solid start and have shown significant improvement.

The Lady Demons have hung in there and beat schools they were not able to compete with a year ago. They also won games in the Holiday Tournament and the Chickasha Tournament. They have stayed in the game and fought to the end with many schools in division games and have just barely fallen short.

The team is lead by three sophomore starters Honesti Dangerfield, Katrina Bevans and Sabrina Stewart; junior Andee Beth Fitts and senior Paityn Bower.

These improvements did not come easily.

The team worked very hard in the summer and offseason and put many hours into practicing and perfecting their game.

“We worked out and scrimmaged every Friday,” said Bevans. “I think it’s made us stronger, which has made it easier for us to handle aggressive teams.”

Last summer, the Lady Demons went to team camps, had practice every morning from 10 a.m. to noon, shot 1,000 baskets or more and also had to workout and run.

But the overall the biggest difference between this year’s team and last year’s has been their attitude toward each other.

“We play more as a team,” Bower said. “We never give up no matter what is thrown at us.”

The team was very divided last season, but this year they decided to come together and become a single unit.

“We’re more like a family this year,” Bevans said. “Last year there was a lot of drama, which made it harder to play together. We put aside our differences and decided being a team was the most important thing.”

Coaches have also pushed the team to become the best that they can be.

“They are good coaches and they want the best for us, so they are on our cases hard. They don’t let up on any of us, and we all respect that,” Dangerfield said. “They don’t yell at us to make us upset, they do it push us to do the things they know we can do. That’s one of the reasons we are doing as well as we are.”

They have also lost junior Falon Howell, a key player, to an ACL injury in the Red and White scrimmage, so Stewart has had to step up to fill her shoes.

“Falon was our best rebounder, so losing her has made us all have to step up and get more rebounds and points,” said Bevans.

They won two games in the Duncan Holiday Tournament against Northwest Classen and U.S. Grant, and the team also beat Douglass in the Chickasha Tournament.

“We want to be state champs,” Dangerfield said. “We know we have a long way ahead of us to get there, but we also know that if we want to get there we have to start to get to work and start improving. We encourage each other to do the best we can, and that motivates and encourages us a lot.”