Last season, all roads ran through Irving MacArthur on the District 6-6A girls basketball court, and that could once again be the case in 2019-20.
Despite an early-season injury to star guard and reigning District MVP Sarah Andrews, the Lady Cardinals are primed for another big run in conference action, with teams from Lewisville ISD and Coppell looking to offer up some resistance in the coming months.
The first of 14 nights on the 6-6A girls hardwood took place on Friday. Here’s a look at how the district standings very well could shake out when all is said and done.
1. Irving MacArthur
Losing Andrews is no doubt a tough blow for the Lady Cardinals, who will have to soldier through the early stages of district action without their leading scorer and top playmaker.
It was reported that the Baylor commit would miss only four to six weeks and that she hopes to return in mid-January, and in her absence, MacArthur has another Baylor pledge to run its offense through with 6-foot-5 post Hannah Gusters now eligible to play after sitting out her junior year after transferring from Duncanville.
Although the Andrews-Gusters combo won’t be fully unleashed on the Metroplex for at least another month, the Lady Cardinals have enough in the tank to repeat last year’s dominance in 6-6A.
The Lady Hawks have grown up fast under head coach Lisa Branch, qualifying for the playoffs last season for the first time since 2014. Hebron is primed to build off that success in a big way with the majority of its rotation back, and although they’ve been a tad shorthanded, the Lady Hawks still enter district with double-digit wins.
Senior Sierra Dickson has helped keep Hebron afloat, including a 27-point effort in a win over Prosper, while senior Courtlyn Loudemill and junior Camille Thomas also enter district play on positive notes.
A return to the postseason would mark the Lady Hawks’ first back-to-back playoff appearances since 2009.
The Lady Farmers claimed second place last season and have been tasked with working through the graduation of the star-studded backcourt of Nala Hemingway and Anessa Boyd. Fortunately, the frontcourt presence of junior Laila Lawrence has helped out in a big way, with Lawrence entering the week having scored in double figures in five of her last six games.
Senior Sydney Savage has been a key contributor down low as well, while junior Haley Allen has helped supplement some of that backcourt scoring.
In all, a fourth straight playoff appearance for the Lady Farmers seems likely.
4. Flower Mound
Although the Lady Jaguars missed out on the playoffs last season, there are some early signs of a bounce-back year. Flower Mound already has a pair of wins over state-ranked teams (Red Oak and Plano East) under its belt and sports one of the better backcourts in the district with seniors Kayla Wallace and Makenzie Schott.
Freshman Madison Cox, sister of Lady Jaguar legend Lauren Cox, is already making a strong case for Newcomer of the Year honors as well.
With an experienced backcourt and plenty of size to contribute in the paint, Flower Mound has the talent to improve on last year’s fifth-place finish.
The Cowgirls aren’t too far removed from a nine-game winning streak before suffering consecutive losses to state-ranked teams Kerrville Tivy and Mansfield Summit to place fourth overall at the Hays Classic. Beforehand, Coppell’s nine consecutive wins included seven victories by double digits.
Junior Chloe Hassman earned all-tournament honors in the Cowgirls’ aforementioned tournament and has been complemented by seniors Nicole Obialo and Kennadi Rogers are contributors for a deep Coppell group.
The Lady Marauders are under new leadership with Monica Pena taking the reins of a program that snapped a five-year playoff drought last season. The transfer of all-district first-teamer and TCU commit Evie Goetz, now at Denton Guyer, leaves Marcus without one of its core returners, and the team has turned to sophomore Abbie Barr, senior Bailey Rhoden and junior MJ Jefferson to pick up the slack.
With just two seniors, and six of its 10 players being either freshmen or sophomores, the Lady Marauders have plenty to be encouraged by down the road, but the present may mean some growing pains in 6-6A.
7. Irving Nimitz
The Lady Vikings and Lady Tigers shared seventh place last season after posting 1-13 records in district play and are projected to once again reside out of the playoff picture.
Nimitz has one of the district’s top scorers at its disposal, with Britney Gonzalez already posting numerous 20-plus-point performances this season, and her scoring punch is the Lady Vikings’ best crack at scoring an upset or two in district play.
Irving, meanwhile, is led by the one-two punch of Ra’Nyi Patterson and Bessy Alvarado.