For the longest time, Lake Dallas senior Allie Buchanan dreamt about playing college basketball far away from home.
But as time passed, Buchanan changed her stance. She started to reconsider about playing closer to home. One visit to Southeastern Oklahoma State University on Aug. 23 was all that it took for her to be convinced that there is no place like home – or at least a short drive away.
Four days after visiting the Durant, Okla., campus, Buchanan gave a verbal commitment to play for the Savage Storm on Aug. 27.
“When I went for my visit on Aug. 23, I loved everything about it,” she said. “I loved the school, the coaches, the players. It reminded me a lot about the team that I play for in high school and it was close to home. For a while, I thought about playing far away. But as soon as I left Southeastern Oklahoma State, I knew this was where I wanted to be.”
One of the best qualities that the Savage Storm coaching staff liked about Buchanan, she said, is her versatility.
Standing at 6 feet, Buchanan has been primarily known during her playing time with the Lady Falcons as strong power forward who can back down opponents with her physical strength. But one area that she has worked hard to improve is her 3-point shooting.
Lake Dallas head coach Jordan Davis used a “green-light” drill during practice in which players would get in as many shots as possible – and possibly a few extra – so that when an open jump shot presents itself, the Lady Falcons are given the green light by the coaching staff to shoot the ball.
“I wouldn’t be anywhere near the player if it wasn’t for coach Davis since she came here my sophomore year,” Buchanan said. “The same thing with coach (Kassie) Urban.”
Another person that Buchanan credited for her development as a player is Bobby Bates, who serves as the head coach of her club team that is named Platinum 17U Bates. Bates coached Buchanan and company to a 34-9 record this summer. At the team’s final tournament of the summer, Platinum 17U Bates won all four games at the End Game in Atlanta.
“Coaches Bates has helped me to step up and become a leader, to improve my game in that aspect,” Buchanan said.
Named to the District 6-5A first team last season, Buchanan averaged 6.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. She was one reason why Lake Dallas didn’t lose a conference game on its way to winning the district crown. In the postseason, the Lady Falcons made an appearance in the regional quarterfinal for the second straight season after defeating Aledo in the bi-district playoff round and Mansfield Timberview in area.
With its top seven players returning this season, Lake Dallas has high expectations.
“Ever since we lost that last playoff game to Wichita Falls Rider, we realized that we have to bring it every practice and how much we want it,” Buchanan said. “Hopefully, we can get past the third round and make it to state.”