LONE GROVE — After falling a game shy of the area tournament last season, the Lone Grove Lady Longhorns hope the experience will lead to more success in 2019.

LONE GROVE — After falling a game shy of the area tournament last season, the Lone Grove Lady Longhorns hope the experience will lead to more success in 2019.

The Lady Longhorns went 12-13 in head coach Sam Hales first season with the program. A loss to the Dickson Lady Comets in the consolation bracket final ended their season short of their goal.

Returning next season are two All-Ardmoreite girls basketball team members Lydia Saavedra and Cheyanne Davis.

Davis led the Lady Longhorns in scoring last season averaging 11.2 points per game, while Saavedra averaged 10 points per game. 

Hale believes after a year of adjusting to his players and his players adjusting to his coaching style, the Lady Longhorns are primed for a better start than they had last season.

“I kinda feel I have a better idea of our personnel now,” he said.

“My mentality and style may be a little bit different than what they are used to, but we have adjusted to that. Everything is more at ease and settled now. They came out and worked their butts off last year and it is really nice to see them get up and go and do a few things that they didn’t think they could do.”

The team will have a solid mix of veteran leadership and youth.

Forward Madison Anderson was the only senior on last years team, while this years squad will have seniors Saavedra, Davis and Anna Black along with six returning sophomores.

Incorporating four freshman into the the rotation is something Hale is using the summer camps for, to help teach the younger kids how to play basketball at the high school level.

Mixing the youth and veterans of the team to work together is one of the toughest challenges Hale will face this season, but having two of their top three players, in terms of scoring, returning team helps as well.

“Game experience is a big factor, there was a lot of girls that got to play this past year that hadn’t seen a lot of action years prior to that,” Hale said.

“When you welcome pretty much everyone back, I think that added year of experience is definitely going to help them down the line. The freshman last year we had, having them be here with us and go through that playoff run and have them doing the things they were doing last year that is going to help them as well.”

While working during the summer, Hale hopes to improve his teams intensity and awareness on defense. On the offensive side of the ball, Hale is hoping to find someone who can replace Anderson’s production and finding more scoring options.

Although it is his 20th season overall as a head coach, Hale also uses the summer time to improve his coaching.

“We come to the summer leagues and clinics as well to see what other people are doing,” Hale said. “Try and adjust your program and see ways you can use what they are using on offense, defense, rebounds or whatever. I think continually watching and learning what others are doing and trying to incorporate it into your style with your kids.”