A second-round loss to Frisco Centennial in the 2018-19 state playoffs did not sit well with the Highland Park Lady Scots basketball team.
With a slew of fresh faces and a strong returning class, the girls are eyeing a further postseason run in 2019-20.
After dismissing Adamson in the first round – Highland Park won the bi-district game by 40 points – Centennial clamped the Lady Scots in the second round, holding head coach Nicole Fleming’s team to less than 40 points in a 58-38 loss. Now, the Lady Scots will look to grab yet another top-four slot in district play.
“I really expect every girl to continue to develop every day, and contribute however they can and in the best interest of the team,” Fleming said. “There are so many ways to contribute, and every single girl has something to give. It’s not just about scoring the most points. Some of the most important things don’t even revolve around skill level – playing aware defensively, fighting for every rebound, communicating at all times.”
Instrumental in the progression of Fleming’s squad in 2019 will be the iron-sharpens-iron approach that will be taken in the pre-district portion of the schedule.
Fleming has scheduled one of the toughest opening months of any girls’ team in the state. The Lady Scots will play scrimmages against Coppell and Marcus, single games against Rockwall-Heath and Bishop Lynch, and make appearances in prestigious tournaments like the Highland Park Scots Classic, the Garland Independent School District Tournament, and the highly-competitive Sandra Meadows Classic in Duncanville.
All of this is to serve the Lady Scots in their quest to win a district that features three Carrollton ISD schools and a few from Dallas ISD.
“We have a very tough pre-season schedule on purpose,” Fleming said. “I expect all girls to play as hard as they can for 32 minutes, all while getting better each possession and being each other’s biggest fan.”
It will help having the reigning District Most Valuable Player returning for her junior season. Ella Patterson led the Lady Scots in scoring every night in District 11-5A play last season, surpassing 500 points for her varsity career by January.
Nearly the entire team from last year’s 22-win squad is back, as well, including junior Madison Visinsky, who was second on the team points and was recognized as the top newcomer by district coaches last year. Second-team selection Riley Mae Herrod returns for her sophomore season, as well.
“They are veterans that have been there before, and they truly understand what a season looks and feels like,” Fleming said. “I will be looking to my returners for supportive leadership – they have valuable insight they can pull from and give to any new athlete.”