No. 11 Navasota awaits Lady Tigers in district home opener

Cagers have already won as many games as last season

Junior Victoria Drake leads the Lady Tigers in scoring and has been one of the top rebounders and ball hawks on defense. 
Reporter/Bill Martin Junior Victoria Drake leads the Lady Tigers in scoring and has been one of the top rebounders and ball hawks on defense. Reporter/Bill Martin While the Rockdale Lady Tigers have sought to improve every time they have stepped out on the floor this season, the real test begins this week as their “new season” begins.

The 6-13 Lady Tigers will certainly start the district slate with a bang, tangling with District 23-3A favorite and 11th ranked Navasota (17-2) Friday at Tiger Gymnasium.

“We open against the strongest teams in district,” says fourthyear coach Liz Galloway-McQuitter. “I want our girls to be competitive and play hard in every game. If we can do that, the wins and/or the feeling of playing one’s best will be the end result.

“We have set goals and incentives for the girls to keep them moving in a positive direction regardless of the wins/ losses. It is here whether we are ready or not.”

According to pre-district ledgers, it appears that Navasota is the clear favorite and will leave everyone else to fight it out for the two remaining playoff spots.

“District promises to be very tough as usual, McQuitter said. “We have state ranked teams in our district. We also have two programs that are strong year in and year out. We are getting tougher and more demanding in practices in preparation for the teams we are about to face.

“I told the girls, we have not played anyone as tough as our district opponents. We have played against some pressure defenses and athletic teams and hopefully that will give us an indication of what it takes to compete against our district teams.”

The six victories they have recorded this season equals their production of last year, but according to McQuitter, that is no reason for celebration.

“Although we have as many wins as all of last season, it is so frustrating because we could be double our win total of last season,” she said. “Every coach can cry about what ifs, but staying healthy, and having some kind of consistency in players is so important.”

McQuitter and the Lady Tiger hope to get veteran Amanda Coumont back from a knee injury for the second round of district

“Inexperience has been a key factor as well, but those who have been thrust in positions they were not ready for have shown great improvement. Baptism by fire, if you will.”

While they lost three games in the Cameron tournament and won just one, McQuitter believes her team actually improved in several areas.

“I can see the strides. Unfortunately strides don’t necessarily add up to wins.

“It is a new season and the girls have to step up the level of play and all the work put in thus far has to kick in.”

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