Final record included 0-16 mark in district play
By Greg Ford
PLANO — Head coach Scott Sandel and the Lady Panthers endured a rough 2014; that included a 0-16 District 6-6A campaign.
Now he and most of that squad are back. Only this time, they’ll hit the court with a lot more experience and confidence.
“We’re night and day from this time last year to now in our mentality,” Sandel said. “The kids understand every day that they are in a competitive program, and that they have to earn their spots … That mentality alone takes us to a different place.”
The Lady Panthers opened regular-season play Monday at Hockaday and then played Tuesday at John Paul II. Following a tournament this weekend, PESH won’t be back on the floor until the Aug. 21-22 Northwest ISD Tournament.
“Our biggest emphasis has been ball control,” Sandel said. “Of course, you want to find lineups that will work out, and that’s what we’ll be doing in the scrimmages and the early matches. We want to have a pretty set lineup by the time we get to (this weekend’s) tournament.”
Among the players Sandel expects to see step up are Payton Cabrera and Lauren Wood.
“Our setters need to do a good job,” he added. “We really need those kids to step up and do a good job. I feel that our ball control is going to be pretty good, because we have some very good liberos and defensive specialists … I feel we have some really good kids who (can control the ball). The biggest thing will be doing is trying to get our offense going. We need to work a little harder in transition and become a little more physical in our offense.”
East will hopefully be there once it opens district play, which happens Aug. 25 at Flower Mound.
“We want to get in the playoffs, and in our district that is going to be really tough,” Sandel said. “I feel like we are in a much better place to compete and do well. Who knows how we’re going to match up in district. We just have to take care of (things) one day at a time, and make sure we get better every day.”