The Lady Apaches basketball team is ranked number 14 in the state for the 2010-2011 season.
The Lady Apaches started practices early in prepara- tion to make it all the way to Kansas, where the national tournament is held.
“We want to win and go to Kansas. In order to do so, we have to work together and come together as a team, and we will be ready to go,” said Markisha Hawkins.
The Lady Apaches basketball team started their sea- son off by preparing as a team through team bonding and preseason practices.
“At the beginning of the year we did a scavenger hunt and it was basically around Tyler,” said Smith.
This exercise really helped the ladies on the court and is helping them improve their game by communication on the court so their teammates will know how to best help them in different situations.
“We have improved a lot since pre-season. Our com- munication is a lot better,” said freshman Markisha Hawk-
The team also works on many different types of drills to prepare them for the season.
“One of our main drills is the figure eight and it helps us a lot with spacing and knowing positions when you are on the court,” said sophomore Latika Smith.
The ladies started preseason practice the first week of school. Depending on how well the ladies work together determines if they get out early or have to stay late.
“We do a lot of conditioning like wind sprints, ladders, suicides, agility drills and pick up games,” said sophomore Chelsey Pizano.
Ladder drills and suicides are exercises to help speed and quickness on the court. Suicides are where they have four lines that they have to run to and back. They have a starting line and when the whistle is blown, they run to the first line and back. When they get back to the start- ing point, they run past the first line to the second line and sprint back. They repeat this sequence until they have sprinted to all the lines.
Even after doing all these exercises, the ladies have to do extra training to take care of their knees.
“We work out in the weight room to build up the mus- cles around our knees,” said Pizano.
The only returning players are sophomores Kelly John- son and Latika Smith. The teams consist of eight freshman and six sophomores.
In-season practices started Oct.1 for the ladies. They began to focus on game strategies and ball handling.
“Before a game we go over game strategies and after the game, we give our bodies time to rest,” said sophomore Pizano.
During practices, the ladies work together to improve themselves physically but as a team they also have to work together mentally to reach their dream.