Jacksonville Daily Progress
NEW SUMMERFIELD —
To say the UIL realignment was harsh on New Summerfield girl's basketball would be a gigantic understatement.
District 21-A-I picked up both Neches and Wells, making it one of East Texas' toughest Class A leagues.
“Realignment was not kind to us,” Josh Faucett, New Summerfield girl's basketball coach said. “We added Neches a three-time defending state champion (Class A-II) and Wells, who has won the last three district titles. Those two will be the heavy favorites to win our district, but I think by the time district rolls around we (New Summerfield) will be right there in the mix.”
The proverbial cupboard isn't exactly empty at New Summerfield, as Faucett, who is now also serving as the high school principal, returns five seniors, four of which started last year.
That list includes Ramie Weaver, Maritzza Melendez, Cindy Medellin, Simone Derrick and Kokis Vargas.
“We're top heavy, so we are depending on these seniors to come through for us,” Faucett said. “Cristal Zuniga is a junior and she is contending for a starting spot for us now. So I expect her to get a lot of minutes, too.”
One luxury that the Lady Hornets, who finished 18-12, 5-3 in district last season, don't have this time around is a deep bench.
“We don't have the depth that we have had in the past,” Faucett said. “We have a pretty good group of freshmen that have speed and can shoot, but they are untested at the varsity level and they will have step up right away and play some minutes for us.”
The Lady Hornets scrimmaged Class 3A Palestine last weekend and came away with the “W”.
“Last year Palestine beat us and this year we beat them, so we hope that that shows that maybe we are farther along this year,” Faucett said. “But, we've been practicing basketball for the past two months and Palestine has been playing volleyball, so I don't know how much you can draw from the score.”
New Summerfield opens the season Tuesday by hosting Laneville at 5 p.m. (varsity only).
District play begins on Jan. 4, 2013 when the Lady Hornets host Alto.
The New Summerfield girls will play in tournaments at Troup (Nov. 29-30) and at Overton (Dec. 27-29) while hosting an eight team tourney on Nov. 15-17.
Troup, West Rusk, Oakwood and Broaddus are a few of the clubs that be participating.
NOTE: Other schools joining the aforementioned in 21-A-I are, Cushing Mount Enterprise and Alto.