By Andrew Glover
STILLWATER, Okla. —
The Frontier Lady Mustangs basketball team has been a perennial state powerhouse. If they are going to make it back this season, they will have to do so with several new faces and a new coach.
The Lady Mustangs graduated three seniors from their state quarterfinals team and one starter quit. On top of that, coach Clay Stephens left and took a position with Stillwater High School. Boys basketball coach Bob Weckstein is taking the reins. The one starter Frontier has returning is post Marissa Goodman.
“She’s a good one,” Weckstein said. “We don’t have a lot of experience. It’s early and it’s going to take some time. We are late getting started with softball making state and cross country. I got good girls.”
Weckstein said in terms of play there won’t be too many differences from what Stephens ran.
“We are going to be looking to push the ball upcourt,” Weckstein said. “We want to get the ball into Marissa’s hands.”
One of the keys to Goodman’s success last season was having good outside shooters like Bethany Childs and Sydney Pappan. With both of them gone, Weckstein is looking to some younger players to fill bigger roles.
“Alivia Molina played in several games for us,” Weckstein said. “Kristen Molina, is a freshman and she’s a good player. Michaelanne Nelson, who is a star pitcher, will play a lot of minutes. Tristan Young, averaged one or two points last season and is a good player.”
The Lady Mustangs open the season Nov. 19 at Glencoe.
The Cushing Lady Tigers, who were Class 4A state semifinalists, will also have a lot of new faces and a new coach as Don Dodd takes the reins.
“We only have nine or 10 girls,” Dodd said. “We will have seven freshmen. It’s going to be a challenge and we will have to go day to day and make a little ground.”
Dodd replaces Brad Crace, who took a job with Elgin. Cushing has already competed in several scrimmages. Dodd said he’s seen some improvement.
“We scrimmaged Ripley a couple weeks ago and they have a good team,” Dodd said. “Last week we played Meeker, Frontier and Newkirk. We’ve gotten a little better every time we’ve played.”
The Lady Tigers opener is depends on how far the football team advances in the playoffs.
The Ripley Lady Warriors are hoping to take their experience from last season’s area run and make a run at state.
“I think we are going to be a little more physical and patient,” coach Doug Scott said. “We played well in our scrimmages over the summer.”
Ripley will have to replace Jaclyn McKnight, who averaged double digits scoring, and Kylie Ladd who moved. Scott said he looks for Naomi Eslinger, Wisper Lefthand, Kylie Wilson and Jewel McKnight to step up.
The Lady Warriors open the season Nov. 15 hosting Oilton.
Yale coach Kevin Shellhorse hopes playing tough competition will pay off for his Lady Bulldogs.
This season, Yale will be fairly young as it graduated six seniors from last season’s team, including Lexi Huff and Brett Thomas. The Lady Bulldogs’ slate includes games against Ripley, Tonkawa, Hennessey and Frontier. Shellhorse said he hopes that competition will ready them for the end of the season.
“When they get to the playoffs, they will have seen that caliber of a team,” Shellhorse said. “I look for us to have a decent year. The key to our season will be to control the ball and the tempo of the game.”
The Lady Bulldogs open the season at Liberty on Nov. 22
The Glencoe Lady Panthers hope to build off of last season’s regional berth with a little more experienced team.
“We are starting to mature a little bit,” coach Stephen Castlebury said. “We are starting to do things better. We will still be a little young. If I was to pick my starters today, we will have one freshman, two sophomores, two juniors and a senior starting.”
Castlebury said he hopes the brutal schedule they play will help in the playoffs.
“We have a chance at playing Frontier three times, Pawnee twice, Pond Creek twice,” Castlebury said. “When we get to playoffs there will be nothing we haven’t seen.”
The Lady Panthers open the season at Paden on Nov. 12
Agra coach Aaron Norton hopes to take the Lady Bearcats further in the playoffs in his first season.
Norton coached at Achille last season and hopes to bring a faster pace to Agra.
“We’ve been working on pressing the ball,” Norton said. “We want to force the action and get fastbreak opportunities.”
The Lady Bearcats open the season at Mulhall-Orlando on Nov. 22
The Mulhall-Orlando Lady Panthers look to improve in coach Joline Oldenburg’s second season. M-O won three games last year but advanced to regionals. The Lady Panthers open the season Friday hosting Oilton.
The Carney Lady Bulldogs are also looking for improvement under coach Jack Brewster. The Lady Bulldogs open the season Nov. 22 at Oilton.