Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Basketball

January 11, 2013

Two sisters helping lead Lady Cats to a promising season

GODLEY — The Godley Lady Cats are off to a 5-0 start in District 10-2A play this season after a 41-32 win over Maypearl on Tuesday.

A big factor in that success is a pair of sisters who make up two-fifths of the starting lineup. Two of the team’s top three leading scorers on a nightly basis are Lyndsie and Leanna James.

Lyndsie, a senior, has been a member of an accomplished Lady Cats squad that has made the playoffs her first three seasons at the varsity level, including an appearance in the regional finals in the 2010-11 season. Leanna is a sophomore and was a member of the varsity team last year. The two look to lead the Wildcats to another playoff berth and deep postseason run.

“Playing high school varsity sports with my younger sister is really awesome and so much fun,” Lyndsie said. “This year, playing with my sister is definitely the most fun I’ve had throughout my high school career.”

Both players have led the Lady Cats in scoring on several occasions and the two said they share a special connection while on the court together.

“I think we connect better on the court with each other than with anyone else just because we’ve been playing basketball for so long, so it’s kind of like we know what each other is going to do,” Leanna said.

“We do have a special connection on the court when we play,” Lyndsie agreed. “We understand and play with each other real well. We always know where the other one is going to be or what she is going to do ... sort of like ‘twin telepathy.’”

Godley Coach Mark Chauveaux agreed that the two share a special connection.

“They’re definitely two of our top three players,” he said. “As far as them being sisters, I think you’ve got a couple of players on a any team that generally feed off each other, and they do that. It’s almost like they have a secret language or whatever where they communicate well together.

“I don’t really have a stat, and everyone has turnovers, but I don’t think they have any turnovers when they pass it to each other. They play well together and they’ve been on the same team now for a couple of years. They’re both playing major roles for our team. That being said, they’re really two completely different players. They look a little bit a like, but they play completely different games for us.”

Through 20 games, Leanna averages 12.1 points, 2.1 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game, while Lyndsie puts up averages of 9.7 points, 2.5 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game.

“Leanna kind of plays a 2-guard and Lyndsie’s on the other side of the floor,” Chauveaux said. “Last year, Lyndsie was our point guard, and she is very versatile. She’s played several different positions. She’s definitely doing a lot more for us this year than she’s been required to in the past and she’s doing a good job. She’s kind of  a smooth player, not very emotional and keeps her cool very well. She’s playing like an experienced player should.

“Leanna plays super hard and is super quick. She’s still learning a lot. She’s more of primarily a guard and Lyndsie can do a little bit more for us as far as playing other positions. They both have a lot of ability in different areas. And they do obviously have a chemistry on the court and off the court, especially.”

The James sisters said they have been playing sports together their entire lives, and it’s a bond that has helped them grow closer than most siblings. They have been on the same basketball teams throughout their lives, except for the couple of years where Lyndsie was in high school and Leanna was in middle school.

“The best part of having my sister on the team is having her to look up to and how close we’ve gotten,” Leanna said. “I’m very lucky and blessed to play in high school with my sister. We’ve played with each other since we were little.”

The two said they always have the other’s back on and off the court, and they added that’s one of the best things of playing together as sisters. While they have each other’s backs, they also push each other to be better.

“Leanna and I are not necessarily competitive towards each other when it comes to practice because we do not want to make each other look bad, but I would say I push her and she pushes me to be the best we can be,” Lyndsie said. “Since I am the older sister, I do take her under my wing. I always have her back no matter what the situation is. We are really close to each other as sisters and best friends. She is a great athlete and is going to go far with that and I’ll be supporting her all the way.”

This year marked the first season in which Lyndsie and Leanna also played varsity volleyball together. The Lady Cats missed the playoffs by one match in volleyball, but are in prime position, thanks to a 5-0 start, to get back to the postseason in basketball.

“It was really fun because I’ve never played school volleyball with Lyndsie until this year and I was really excited because it’s her senior year and I’ve always wanted to play volleyball on her team,” Leanna said.

The Lady Cats host Rio Vista at 6:15 p.m. today in search of a 6-0 start in district play.

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