Mackenzie Buss Lake Dallas

Lake Dallas junior Mackenzie Buss will look to help the Lady Falcons repeat last year’s magical playoff run.

As the Lake Dallas girls basketball team prepares for Thursday’s Class 5A bi-district playoff game against Aledo, second-year head coach Jordan Davis said her Lady Falcons aren’t taking last year’s playoff run for granted.

Davis led Lake Dallas on a magical postseason run in her first season at the helm. Her Lady Falcons won a playoff game for the first time since 2008 and advanced all the way to the regional semifinals, where they lost to two-time defending state champion Amarillo.

It’s a journey that Lake Dallas will look to recreate this postseason, starting Thursday with a bi-district matchup against Aledo. The game will tip off at 4:30 p.m. at Bridgeport High School.

“It was a great journey for our team and program,” Davis said. “We accomplished a lot and we hope to build on that.”

Lake Dallas lost two crucial pieces from that team to graduation in reigning district MVP Josephine Elliott, who is now playing women’s basketball for UT-Tyler as well as first team all-district honoree Dorian Norris (Texas A&M-Commerce). But, the Lady Falcons head into this postseason an experienced squad.

Eight players return from last year’s playoff team.

Juniors Bailey Broughton, Allie Buchanan, Jorja Elliott, as well as sophomores Altyn Bartley and Camryn Richardson are capable scorers. Elliott poured in 29 points in the Lady Falcons’ 69-66 overtime win against Grapevine on Jan. 8. Buchanan and Bartley netted 13 and 12 points, respectively in Lake Dallas’ 59-38 win last Friday against Denton Ryan, capping off a perfect 14-0 run in district play for the Lady Falcons.

One player that wasn’t on the court for Lake Dallas during the postseason was point guard Mackenzie Buss. The Lady Falcon junior missed all of last season with ACL, MCL and meniscus injuries.

Buss has been sensational in her return from injury, highlighted by a 30-point performance in a 59-44 win for Lake Dallas against Grapevine that clinched the District 6-5A title for the Lady Falcons.

“We’re very excited to have Buss this season,” Davis said. “She gives us another dimension, and I’m excited to see her perform in the playoffs.” 

Lake Dallas enters the playoffs red hot.

Winners of 16 straight games – 13 by at least 10 points – Lake Dallas (22-4) hasn’t lost since Dec. 5. At that time, the Lady Falcons were 6-4 and had lost three of four games – all to teams that will make the postseason: Mesquite Horn (22-4), Princeton (21-4) and Ponder (24-3). But, Davis knew that her squad would turn things around at some point.

Davis credited her team’s work ethic as the primary reason for Lake Dallas’ strong finish to the regular season.

“There is a lot that has impressed me about this team, but I would say their desire,” she said. “They want to be in the gym. They want to get better. They put in the hard, dirty work because they have tasted success and they want more.”

Aledo is no stranger to the postseason. The Bearcats (8-15) are in the playoffs for the 14th consecutive season.

Region I will feature some of the top teams in 5A.

Should Lake Dallas, ranked No. 14 in Class 5A by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, get past Aledo, the Lady Falcons will face the winner of Mansfield Timberview (17-8) vs. Trimble Tech (18-6) in the area round. Lake Dallas could potentially play No. 3 Wichita Falls Rider (22-2) in the regional quarterfinals. No. 7 Mansfield Legacy (24-1), No. 8 Lubbock Cooper (23-3) and No. 10 Amarillo (18-2) are also in Region 1.

“Region I is a very tough, talented region,” Davis said. “We are taking things one game at a time, though. Our focus is on Aledo.” 

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