High School: 1/26/12 Girls basketball notes

Ogden has Denton Ryan girls on top in 4-4A

January, 25, 2012
Denton Ryan is no stranger to standout point guards, and this season is no different.

This year, the Lady Raiders boast a surging Teana Ogden, a junior who is already getting noticed on the recruiting trail.

Her evaluation on ESPN HS describes her as an "ultra quick point guard with great hands and great court vision." Her statistics certainly back that up.

Ogden averages 19 points, five rebounds and four assists per game, making her one of the most well-rounded guards in the area.

And she's lifting her team in the process. Ryan (17-8, 7-1) is now in sole possession of first place in District 4-4A following its 54-42 win over long-time rival Wichita Falls Rider, and looks poised to make another deep run in the playoffs.

The Lady Raiders should be as battle tested as any 4A team in the area by the time the playoffs roll around. In addition to playing in a competitive district, Ryan's nondistrict schedule was laced with elite 5A opponents, including Irving MacArthur, DeSoto, Lewisville and Duncanville.

Ryan reached the third round of the playoffs each of the last two years.

No. 2 Mansfield Summit getting it done with D

January, 25, 2012
The emphasis is defense for the Mansfield Summit girls basketball team.

Lady Jaguars coach Tammy Lusinger estimates 70 percent of her team’s practice time has been spent on defense.

“It’s probably getting closer to 50-50 at this point in the season,’’ Lusinger said, “but I learned from the coach here before me, Samantha Morrow, that defense shows up every night. That’s not always the case with offense.’’

The formula is working. Summit (25-3, 10-0 in District 7-4A), No. 2 in ESPNDallas.com's Class 4A Top 10, goes for its 29th consecutive district victory at 6:30 p.m. Friday when it travels to Crowley.

Lusinger picks her spots for Summit’s use of full-court pressure and relies mostly on man-to-man defense in the half-court.

The defensive tone is set by junior guard Maya Hawkins, one of the smallest players on the team at 5-foot-5 and 120 pounds.

“Maya is tenacious with on-the-ball defense,’’ Lusinger said.

Ashley Eli, a 5-foot-9 senior who has signed with North Carolina State, already owns the Summit school record for drawing charges.

“Ashley is always in the right place at the right time,’’ Lusinger said.

“Everybody on the team has bought into doing what is necessary to play defense.’’

Summit holds its opponents to an average of 38.1 points per game.

In addition to setting the tone on defense, Hawkins and Eli are Summit’s leading scorers with scoring averages of 14.6 and 11.7, respectively. Hawkins leads the team in assists (3.7) and Eli in rebounds (6.4).

Undersized Mesquite contends for playoff spot

January, 25, 2012
On an undersized Mesquite girls basketball team, senior Michelle Espinoza is an unsung hero in the eyes of coach Jan Newland.

The 5-foot-7 Espinoza, Mesquite's starting post, regularly goes up against the opponent's tallest player.

“I can guarantee you won’t find anybody tougher than Michelle in our district,’’ Newland said. “She’s really a hard worker.

“With our lack of height, it is very important that we do a good job of blocking out so we don’t allow the second and third shots,‘’ Newland added.

Offensively, Mesquite is led by 5-foot-5 senior guard Cemetra Jenkins, who averages 17.4 points per game. Backcourt mate Briana Caro, a sophomore averaging 12.8 points, connected on four 3-pointers (giving her 66 for the season) in Tuesday’s 47-37 loss to DeSoto, which is ranked No. 4 in ESPNDallas.com's Class 5A Top 10.

Junior forward Viershanie Latham, a 2011 Region II qualifier in the triple jump for the track and field team, pulled down 14 rebounds against DeSoto. Latham averages 10.2 points and nine rebounds.

A 61-49 road victory at Tyler Lee last Friday has helped position the Lady Skeeters as a playoff contender.

“I think we’ll be fine,’’ Newland said. “We just need to take care of business. The win in Tyler was big for our kids and I thought we did a good job against DeSoto.’’

Mesquite (17-9, 3-3 in District 11-5A) faces Mesquite Horn (12-14, 4-2) at 7 p.m. Friday on the road in an important 11-5A contest. In their first district meeting on Jan. 6, Mesquite squandered an 18-point lead and lost, 48-42, in overtime.

Team concept propelling No. 3 Plano West girls

January, 25, 2012
Plano West head coach Don Patterson always preaches the importance of team basketball and sharing the load offensively.

His team is practicing what he preaches to perfection this season. On any given night, any number of players could end up being the Lady Wolves' leading scorer.

Since reopening district play in January, West has had five different leading scorers in seven games, and there's usually a player just a point or two behind the leader every night.

In West's win over Flower Mound Marcus on Tuesday, junior guard Allison Staley led the way with 12 points. In Friday's win over Plano East, Paige Womack had a team-high 16 points. Devri Owens, Lindsey Oh, Kiran Lakhian, Tyara Warren, Mattie Swearingen and Randi Reinhardt have also led the team in scoring in a game this season.

This trend has West scoring 63 points per game while giving up just 41 as the Lady Wolves look poised for a state-title run after losing to eventual state champion Irving MacArthur in the third round a year ago.

The Lady Wolves (28-2, 10-0 in 8-5A) have a three-game lead on District 8-5A with four games remaining in the regular season, and the only two losses for ESPNDallas.com's No. 3 team, against state powers MacArthur and DeSoto.

West also boasts experience that it didn't have last year. Six major contributors from last year's team return, including four underclassmen, and -- as always -- West is getting production all the way down its long bench from new contributors.