In the 2019-20 season, the Santa Gertrudis Academy Lady Lions basketball team has a chance to clinch its third consecutive district championship.
But for Head Coach Alex Munoz, now in her third season, success is all about playoff victories.
After being eliminated from the Class 3A playoffs in last year’s area round, Munoz said they have to keep moving forward as strong as ever.
“It’s that hunger we have left in us,” Munoz said “We’ve got to get past that round. I think coming in, we’re really focused on what it is we can do to better ourselves in that aspect. Our preseason is a lot harder hitting this year. We’re seeing a lot more speed, seeing a lot more height, so that when we get to that spot (in the playoffs), we’re ready. So really, we’re focusing on making sure our head’s in the right spot and we’re ready to go.”
The Lady Lions suffered a loss to begin the preseason, but were missing a few players due to a number of the athletes also playing volleyball.
The Lady Lions Class 3A Playoff Volleyball run collided with the basketball schedule, but Munoz said she was ready to handle missing players to continue and to keep the program “consistent” in their absence.
“When you consistently have the same coach and it’s not always changing, (the team) always knows what to expect,” Munoz said. “So when they know the system and when they know where we’re at and where they go, and everybody’s spot is there and ready; it’s a well oiled machine. They can step out and step in, just as they need to. And I feel like that’s definitely something that as a program in general that we’ve experienced. When the girls were gone, everyone I had still took care of business. So, having everyone back, the transition to fit all our girls back in is seamless.”
There are few weaknesses on a team that has six returning all-district athletes, so Munoz said other than some struggles rebounding due to a lack of size, the only way they’re losing games this year is if they beat themselves mentally.
“We’re our worst critics, when anything happens. We have to make sure that we can stay out of our own heads and then keep going on with what we need to do,” Munoz said. “(Also), our team is a bit gassed. We were so tired in our game last week. But I understand, some of them just finished volleyball on Monday, then to play basketball on Tuesday and Friday? It’s a lot. But, they know I have high expectations. We had a run-and-gun practice and nobody was upset. The girls told me they needed that, and that, honestly, is one of our strengths. This team is so self aware and willing to work, and they don’t come up with excuses.”
Coach Munoz and company won their matchup against Skidmore-Tynan on Tuesday night, 33-24. Their next group of contests will be at the Marble Falls Tournament beginning tonight and running through Saturday.