Demonette basketball squad gears up for new season
By Tyler Anderson, Sports Editor
Nov 3, 2017, 11:24
As the volleyball nets were taken down for the final time this season, a new season will begin for Dumas girls’ basketball team.
With long time assistant coach Austin Spain taking over the helm as the Demonettes’ head coach, there will be a blend of familiarity and newness appearing on the Dumas High School basketball court this coming season.
Spain is already preaching a return to fundamentals and an athletic, yet physical defense.
Photo by Tyler Anderson/News-Press. Sophomore point guard Macie Medrano prepares to drive against a Vega defender during Thursday's scrimmage between the Demonettes and Lady Horns at the DHS Gymnasium. The Demonettes will begin their new season on Tuesday evening, playing host to the Gruver Lady Hounds.
“This team is going to look completely different,” Spain said before a Thursday round of scrimmages at the DHS Gymnasium. “We’re going to play defense, and do it well. We’re going to find a way to put the ball in the basket. They’re learning, and they’re already taking so many steps forward so far.”
After graduating eight players, the Orange and Black will be young, spearheaded by seniors Raven Jones, Syma Mendoza and Bryana Bryant.
Jones had significant playing time on varsity in her junior season for the Demonettes, while Mendoza and Bryant have spent the previous season in the junior varsity ranks.
They will look to rejuvenate a team who missed the playoffs with an 11-18 overall record in 2017.
Aiding Jones, Mendoza and Bryant will be junior forward Courtnee Mild and sophomore guard Macie Medrano. Both Mild and Medrano saw an ample load of playing time last season, as well.
However, there are plenty of players eager to earn a spot on the varsity spot, according to Spain.
“There are girls that maybe we didn’t or expect to step up, have really stepped up,” Spain said. “It’s going to be great.”
The Dumas faithful will be have the luxury of sticking close to home in the first month of competition, as the Demonettes will host the likes of Gruver, Panhandle, Dalhart and Sunray inside the DHS Gymnasium.
Of the opening slate, Dumas will be in for a few tests as the Lady Hounds were area round finalists in Class 2A last season while the Pantherettes are the reigning Conference 2A state champions.
“Hopefully, these games will help us build momentum,” Spain said of November’s portion of the schedule. “You always want to play at home as much as you can. I just hope that we can show the fans something that they can be proud of, where not only can we compete, but focus on the little things at home. That way, it can translate to success down the road.”
Along with hosting Panhandle, the Demonettes will finish the month with a road trip to Canadian. The matchup between Dumas and the defending Class 3A state champions is scheduled for Nov. 28.
“Just because they are smaller schools doesn’t mean that they don’t know how to play,” Spain said of his competition. “They’ve done things right for a long time, and they’re going to be tough. They know what they’re doing, and we’ll still be in the process of learning. It’ll be good to see how it establishes the team and hopefully, we can use our size and athleticism to our advantage.”
Before embarking on a trip to the Land of the Lady Cats, Dumas will square off with Sunray in a proverbial battle for Moore County on Nov. 20. Sunray will see head coach Sid Whiteley return to guiding to the Ladycats, after a disappointing 7-22 winter campaign in 2016-2017.
The Demonettes will participate in two tournaments this season, traveling northward to Garden City, Kansas from Dec. 7 to Dec. 9. Following the tournament, the Demonettes begin District 3-5A play with a trip to Randall on Dec. 12.
Following their trek to the House of Doom, which has been owned by the Demonettes for the past two seasons, Dumas will play host to Palo Duro and Plainview.
Dumas will then take a break from district action, heading over to the Land of Enchantment to take part in the Plateau Wireless Holiday Classic. The tournament will be played from Dec. 28 to Dec. 30 in Clovis, New Mexico.
A day after ringing in the New Year, the Orange and Black will head over to southeast Amarillo to face Caprock and resume district play. Jan.5 will see the Demonettes lock up with the defending Conference 5A champion Canyon Lady Eagles at the Joe Lombard Gymnasium.
The second leg of the district slate will fall on Jan. 16, as the Lady Raiders visit the DHS Gymnasium.
Senior Day will be held on Feb. 2, where the Demonettes battle Hereford. Dumas will then look to close their season on a high note, visiting the Amarillo High Activity Center on Feb. 6 to take on the Amarillo High Lady Sandies.