WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - The high school basketball season is officially underway with area girls teams already a couple of games in, including the Rider Lady Raiders.
Last year, Rider missed the playoffs for back to back seasons for the first time in ten years, but they are hoping another year of growth for their young team will pay off this season.
“Last year was a building year," Rider head coach Kendall Webb said. "So I think the experience that we gained is definitely going to be valuable toward this year.”
“We learned a lot because we weren’t winning a lot of games because we were inexperienced," Rider junior forward Laechelle Wright said. "We learned how to lose together so now we can learn how to win together.”
Knowing how to win is an important part to success that many don’t think about.
But one thing that will help the Lady Raiders have some success this season is the return of guard Hannah Lawerence, who is even more motivated after missing most of last season.
“I was always motivated before," Rider junior guard Hannah Lawerence said. "But I think after being hurt, it gives me so much more determination to be better and to catch back up.”
On top of that Rider adds junior post Jill Leslie, who will help accentuate the Lady Raiders already present height advantage.
But the Lady Raiders say it’s their team chemistry and confidence that will have them competing for a district title in a few months.
“The way we are close to each other," Wright said. "The way we have each other’s backs, so we will be there for our teammate if she’s not having her best day and it will help us as a team.”
“Our confidence," Lawerence said. "I think we have gotten so much better at motivating each other and being more confident with the ball.”