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First Round and Beyond: Lady Broncos ready to change recent fortunes
Their basketball season may be less than two weeks old, but McKinney Boyd girls head coach Rochelle Vaughn is not only eyeing the playoffs, but also the program's recent demons.
A first round matchup is not enough for Vaughn, or her team. For a team that's lost in the opening round the last two years, they have a deeper run in mind.
"Our goal, especially for our seniors, is to get past the first round," Vaughn said. "They've never been past the first round before. That's our goal to get to the second or third round."
After starting 3-1, the Lady Broncos have stumbled of late, falling to 3-3 in the young season. Vaughn knows these early season games will quickly give way to district action in January.
"We're a work in progress, just trying to get better every game," she said. "We're still evolving. We've made some mental errors, execution errors and we need to limit turnovers. Everything we're doing is building towards the start of district in January."
For Boyd, it's not enough to just make the playoffs as the Lady Broncos are eyeing a district crown.
"We want to win district," Vaughn said. "The Plano schools are pretty tough and Allen came back strong. It's going to be a tough district."
Vaughn likes her team's depth. The Lady Broncos have seven seniors on the rosters, including guards Courtney Norman and Mariah Richardson, and forwards Julia Hendrieth, Micaela Gonzalez and Ashleigh DeBoue, in addition to several talented juniors.
There's one senior in particular who the Lady Broncos are currently without. Starting guard Charmaine Celestine is returning from a knee injury.
"She's coming back from injury," Vaughn said. "She has a hurt knee. She just got released this week by the doctor, so we're working her back in slowly. It'll be a couple weeks until she's back to full speed."
Vaughn will look to her team's defensive presence to lead them from the hardwood into the win column.
"I hope it's our defensive intensity that defines us," she said. "That's how we're going to win. We have to stop people, have to limit what they can do. We're every athletic in certain spots so we have to use that to our advantage. We have to put that pressure on other teams from the start"
While Jan. 4 against Plano West marks Boyd's district opener, Vaughn knows there are other tests along the way.
"I'm looking forward to our first district game," she said. "It'll be a big test for us. Before that we play Duncanville, that'll be another good test for us to see where we're at."
Ultimately, Vaughn said it's not the X's and O's she most focused on, but rather instilling within her team a certain mindset.
"I hope we have a killer instinct by the time we start district, the mentality that when we step onto the court we're fearless and ready to play," she said. "We won't make too many mistakes and when we do we need to learn from them. I'm looking forward to seeing how we're going to develop and keep growing as a team."