Kennedy Dodson

Gainesville freshman Kennedy Dodson defends a Celina player during the Lady Leopards' game Friday night.

Gainesville fell short Friday night as the Lady Leopards couldn’t keep pace with Celina.

The Gainesville girls’ basketball team lost 54-32 in a district home game to the Lady Cats.

Gainesville (6-19 overall, 0-5 District 9-4A) couldn’t match Celina’s offense despite having the game’s leading scorer.

Celina (6-11, 3-1) attacked by committee with nine players scoring.

Gainesville coach Shaun Weaver said she needs more from her players offensively.

“I don’t think we took enough shots,” Weaver said. “We did not crash the boards offensively or defensively, for sure offensively. We didn’t go get any offensive rebounds.”

Gainesville freshman Landrie Polk scored 23 points to lead the way, but no other Lady Leopard had more than 3. All nine of Celina’s scorers had 3 points or more.

Weaver said Gainesville needs other players to score for the Lady Leopards to win.

“I’ve seen it in spurts,” Weaver said. “It’s something I’ve been preaching to them. We need everybody to play and produce for us every night. We gotta stay unified as a team and keep that team unity.”

Gainesville started slow and didn’t score a field goal until 4:17 remained in the first quarter. The Lady Leopards did better in the second. Polk opened the quarter with a 3-pointer, and the teams tied the quarter 9-9.

The Lady Leopards trailed 22-14 at halftime but were still in the game. Gainesville managed just a single field goal in the third quarter as Celina grew its lead. The Lady Cats went on to outscore Gainesville 32-18 in the second half.

Weaver said though things haven’t gone smoothly for the team so far this year, she just needs everyone to buy in and stay motivated as they continue to build and grow.

“I don’t believe in roles on the team,” Weaver said. “I believe in jobs. If everybody (does) their job, we can function as a whole. Just keep them motivated, just make them understand this is the program we’re trying to build… Get our freshmen to understand, this is their future.”

Gainesville has seven freshmen playing varsity. Weaver said the experience they are getting is big for the freshmen, but she is also looking to her seniors to help guide them.

“Those three seniors, I need to see that leadership that the freshmen is wanting from them,” Weaver said. “They have it in them… All three of them were freshmen thrown on varsity, because it was the same scenario. We didn’t have that program built yet. I’m trying to encourage my seniors to bring the freshmen along and let them understand, they went through the same thing growing pain-wise.”

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