Velva’s girl’s basketball team is off to a hot start in region six, at 6 and 2 overall and leading their district. The Aggies are looking to punch their ticket to state for the first time in more than 20 years.
Head coach Chris Braaten believes the rise in competitiveness amongst themselves is propelling them to big wins over ranked opponents.
“I think just the level of play in practice,” Braaten says. “You know, everyone’s hungry for those minutes on the main floor. Just day in and day out going against each other.”
“Well you practice how you play, so if we do it in practice we will do it in a game,” says Senior Guard Jade Lohnes.
“The intensity has picked up because I think all of us have been so close every single year and each of us wants it so bad,” says Senior Guard Reagan Hildre.
The Aggies believe cleaning up the little things could get them to state for the first time since 1998.
“If it’s a missed box out or maybe the wrong read on offense or defense, we are looking at trying to clean up everything so there is not so much pressure when we get into those bigger games so they feel confident in what we’re doing,” added Braaten.
Hildre and Lohnes feel forcing turnovers guides them toward the win column.
“We thrive off of defense and if we could just really put together that and really just force a lot of turnovers and get a lot of steals and just go for those fast breaks that can just really change the game around in a second,” explained Hildre.
“Defense is huge and defense wins championships, that’s what we go by,” says Lohnes.
But Coach Braaten wants to make sure the girls create a bond off the court that will get them through the season.
“Picking each other up as they go along the way because we’re all going to hit bumps along the road and some people are going to have good games and some aren’t,” says Braaten. “Just a matter of time before they’re back on it and having that support around you really makes the difference”
The Aggies travel to Westhope on Thursday.