GRANDVIEW — After a down year by Grandview standards, the Lady Zebras are aiming to get back to the postseason in 2019-20.
Grandview went 18-17 last year but the Lady Zebras finished fifth in District 17-3A, missing the playoffs a year after reaching the regional tournament.
Grandview lost two multiple-year pieces in Emily Little and Katie Roberts to graduation, but the Lady Zebras bring back six returners and three starters.
After two years as Grandview’s assistant coach, now Tyler Adams is at the helm of Lady Zebra basketball. And he will bring a few changes to the Lady Zebras’ style of play.
“We’re going to keep some things the same,” Adams said. “[Coach Steve Montgomery] gave me a lot of responsibility on the defensive end, so we’re going to be pretty similar on the defensive end. But we’re going to press a lot more and try to play a faster paced game. That’s going to be a big thing for us and hopefully cause us to be successful if we can play at that speed and make other teams have to play faster than they want to.
“Offensively, we’re going to do a few of the same things but we’re going to try to move the ball a little quicker. We want to get a lot of our offense in transition off turnovers or if the other team makes a shot, get it out quick and try to keep the pressure on both ends of the floor as much as we can.”
Adams believes a faster tempo and higher pace will help the Lady Zebras find success, and having six players with a year of varsity experience under their belts will make it happen.
Last season was the first varsity action for players such as Maddie Metzler, Brooklyn Prater, Kylie Mahanay and Emma Warren. Payden Burelsmith is the lone player on the roster this season with more than one year of experience.
Despite missing out on postseason play a year ago, Adams expects the year of varsity experience should help pay off this season.
“We’re looking for another step in maturity and growing on what they did last year,” he said. “Last year was a lot of their first years on varsity besides Payden. I think them getting to play as much as they did last year really helped. We want them to take that next stride in leadership and being vocal, and really just being more aggressive. Last year, I felt some of our kids were a little passive being their first year on varsity.
“So far this year with practices and the two scrimmages we’ve had, they’re showing the want to be leaders and want to be good. They’ve done all the things we’re asking them to do to try to get back in the playoffs.”
A couple of newcomers in sophomores Nora Williams and Morgan Holliday could also make an impact.
Adams, who has prior head coaching experience at Rio Vista, Maypearl, and Waxahachie Life, said they’re aiming to return to the playoffs, which is the expectation in Grandview.
“That’s our goal is to have a winning record and get back into the playoffs,” Adams said. “We’d love to compete for one of the top 2 spots, but our end goal is to get back in the playoffs, whatever position that is, then see what happens once we get into the playoffs.”
Grandview is set to tip off the new season at 5:30 p.m. Friday vs. Paradise in Grandview.