Facing the favorites: Lady Steers open district play with top-notch Wylie squad

Big Spring girls’ basketball coach Mike Warren knows not many are picking the Lady Steers to win District 5-3A. The “favorites” title belongs to their opponents at 6 p.m. today at Abilene Wylie.Warren is more comfortable in the role of spoiler and believes his team has a chance to turn some heads,too.“I think it’s up for grabs and I think Wylie’s going to get beat,” he said of how District 5-3A might play out. “I think anything can happen. I think Brownwood can knock off Wylie and we can, too. I think it’s important to win your home games and defend your home court. "That’ll be four wins right there if you do that, then go on the road and try to steal a game or two. That will get you into the playoffs.”There is a reason tonight’s opponents to start district play are the favorites.Wylie has experience on its side, with a trip to the state final last year. The Lady Bulldogs lost that game, however, and are looking for a return trip.It doesn’t hurt that they have standout guard Peyton Little, who Warren said is an early signee with the University of Texas.It’ll be no question who the best player on the floor will be tonight. Warren said Little has that much talent. But it should come down to how many Big Spring players can contribute.“They played a very tough non-district schedule, so their record is not indicative of how they play,” Warren said of Wylie. “They’ve played some tough teams and had some injuries. I think they’re the favorite coming into district after what they accomplished last year.”Warren said defense, rebounding and scoring more points will not only be key in this game, but it will have to be a mainstay throughout district play.In order for the Lady Steers (15-3) to get more points, Warren said he would like to see more than one of his go-to players have the hot hand.If any combination of Diamond Mayes, Cerbi Ritchey, Bridgette Tuitt and Mackenzie Stone can get hot on the same night, Big Spring will be tough to handle.There’s no ignoring the opportunity the Lady Steers have tonight, either.Warren said a win over the district favorite on the road would be as big as any this season, especially coming off a first-place finish in the Slaton tournament last week.“It would just be big. It would be great,” he said. “Our girls are confident. We’ve had a couple of winning streaks during the season and we’re on a five-game winning streak right now. I think the Slaton tournament was just a big confidence booster for us and we’re going in with a lot of confidence right now.”Not looking too far ahead, Warren said the District 5-3A race should be an interesting one. With the Lady Bulldogs being as good as they are, there is Brownwood with size and the 2-3 zone defense, Snyder is a very scrappy team and almost a mirror image of the Lady Steers and Sweetwater will be looking to upset some teams, too.Big Spring boysThe Big Spring Steers (14-6) have just two more games before District 5-3A play begins for the boys. One of those games is today at 7:30 p.m. against Levelland in Steer Gym.