The Muenster girls basketball team has two losses this season that have come by a combined five points. The Lady Hornets are 7-2 on the season and have bigger goals than just making the playoffs.
The Lady Hornets advanced to the Class 2A regional semifinal game last season, but came in second place behind Era in the district.
This season, Muenster has eyes on a district crown and a lengthy playoff run.
“We’ve had that conversation and the two losses that we have, we’ve got to find ways to win those games because we had leads and couldn’t find a way,” Muenster head coach Chris Hightower said. “The excuses are gone. They’re veteran players now. Almost every girl was on varsity last year and so far, we’ve handled it pretty well. We have high expectations for ourselves and so far we’ve played really, really well”
The Lady Hornets most recently played in the Bowie tournament earlier this week. They were 3-1 and fell to Peaster 39-37 in the championship game.
Muenster took down Bowie 45-30 to advance to the title game and the Lady Hornets were led by Jada Binder and Martie McCoy, who each scored 15 points apiece.
Against Peaster, Kaitlin Hennigan had 13 points and McCoy added nine.
The Lady Hornets have played in several, low-scoring contests this season and Hightower said they are leaning heavily on their defense.
“For the most part, I think we’ve held everybody under 40 points except for maybe one game,” Hightower said. “We hang our hat on defense. We’re going to play really, really tough and our kids kind of grasp what we want to do defensively. Offensively, we’re still kind of finding our identity and we show flashes. That is what our team should be known for.”
Due to this year’s loftier goals, Hightower set a more difficult non-district schedule than last year and he thinks his team has handled it well.
“Because of the high expectations we place on ourselves, I did intentionally make it tougher with some different tournaments than what we’ve played in the past,” Hightower said. “It’s kind of turned out to where we played some pretty tough, tough teams. We’re going to go to another tournament the next weekend, so we’ve got three weeks in a row of tournaments. That is going to be a grind.”
The Lady Hornets will have to go through the defending district champion Era Hornets if they are going to earn the top playoff seed as well as Poolville and Alvord, which Hightower said would offer some stiff resistance.
“This district wide open and obviously, we feel like we’ve got a good shot of doing that,” Hightower said. “But we’ve got teams that are going to give us everything they’ve got. First and foremost, we have to take care of business on the defensive side of the floor.”
Muenster will resume play Tuesday, Dec. 3, on the road against Howe.
Patrick Hayslip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @PatrickHayslip