The inside game with Cerbi Ritchey and Diamond Mayes is almost unstoppable and the same could be said for Valerie Ross and Mackenzie
Stone’s shooting efficiency.
If that’s sounds like a double-edged sword opponents want no part of, how much more dangerous are the Big Spring Lady Steers with speed in the backcourt?
The answer: very dangerous. At least that’s what head coach Mike Warren is counting on with LaShaunte Anderson, Bridgette Tuitt and Logan Yarbar.
“You can’t coach quickness,” Warren said. “They either have it or they don’t and those three right there are three of the quicker ones. That’s what we’ll see in district when we play Wylie and Brownwood. They’re going to have that same type of speed, so I hope we’ll be able to match up.”
So far, having the speedy guard in the backcourt has added another dimension to the Lady Steers’ offensive and defensive attack.
The quickness helps in a few different ways. Naturally, if defenders are unable to keep up with Anderson, Tuitt or Yarbar, getting to the basket is easier.
But maybe where their speed is most effective is on defense, considering the full-court press the Lady Steers run.
Warren has Tuitt and Anderson — and Yarbar when she’s in — as the first line of defense in the full-court press. Their quickness allows them to trap, cause turnovers and turn those into fastbreak points.
“I think when me and Bridgette or me and LaShaunte or Bridgette and LaShaunte — any of us really — are in, we trap really well,” Yarbar said.
The defensive pressure makes it hard for opponents to get the ball inside. Warren said their defense is their offense in this case. Even when the Lady Steers fall back into man-to-man, these guards are tough to score on.
“I love it when LaShaunte’s up there with me because she pushes me and motivates me to want to do better, too,” Tuitt said. “Together, we’re unbeatable. Our defense is phenomenal. I’m just happy she’s with us because it’s another person to help succeed.”
Warren sees Tuitt as a point guard more than anything, but that’s another plus with this group. Tuitt, Anderson and Yarbar can play at point guard, shooting guard or small forward.
Yarbar especially has seen time at small forward. She said some teams just have one point guard, one shooting guard and one small forward.
Having three players essentially vie for playing time at the same positions can present its problems, but Anderson said it’s been the exact opposite with her, Yarbar and Tuitt.
“When we’re on the court, we try not make it seem like it’s a competition, because we’re all fighting for the same spot,” she said. “We know that and we fit together and it works out really well when we’re on the floor.”
It might get a little bit more difficult for the three guards and the rest of the Lady Steers, though.
Big Spring is on the road against Lubbock High at 6 p.m. today in Lubbock. Warren, who used to coach at Lubbock Coronado, said Lubbock High has had better seasons, but it’s a 5A team on the road and starts a stretch of tougher opponents for the Lady Steers.
Another tournament is on deck in Slaton after Friday’s game and then it’s at Abilene Wylie, an open date and at Brownwood to start District 5-3A for the Lady Steers.
Big Spring boys
Finally, the Big Spring Steers don’t have to travel to San Angelo, Monahans or Abilene for a game. At least for one night they don’t
The Steers face Merkel at 7:30 p.m. today in Steer Gym. It is their first home game since the Nov. 19 matchup against Odessa Permian.
Head coach Cliff Thompson said he is excited about tonight’s game.
“It’s been almost exactly a month. It’ll be good to have some fans in the stands,” he said. “The past month, the only people in our stands have been the freshman team and the junior varsity.”