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).