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GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Permian set for fresh start under Lane - Odessa American: Basketball

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GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Permian set for fresh start under Lane

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Posted: Saturday, November 9, 2019 12:04 am

The Permian girls basketball team has a bitter feeling with how last season ended and the team has not forgotten that feeling.

After falling just short of reaching the postseason last year, the motivation is high amongst the Lady Panthers to make sure that history does not repeat itself.

“We definitely need to step up,” junior forward Karen Guzman said. “We understand what it felt like to come up short from where we wanted to go so there’s a lot of desire for us to make it farther.”

As Permian gets set to open the season Saturday at Plainview, the team has a new leader in charge of the program. Fortunately for the Lady Panthers, it’s a familiar face.

Former assistant coach Macee Lane takes over as the interim head coach this season for Angela Braziel-Smith, who spent the last 10 seasons as the head coach of the Lady Panthers. Lane also takes the place of Len Krieger, who was hired by ECISD over the summer but resigned before the school year started.

To say there’s been a lot of craziness is an understatement, but it has been made easier with the start of the season now here.

“It was a whirlwind of a summer for me,” Lane said. “I had been working out the girls all summer and they knew I was here for them, so it was a pretty easy transition. It’s a new role for me, but the girls understand my expectations for them.”

Having that familiar face in that leadership role does provide assurance for the Lady Panthers.

“It makes it a lot easier for us,” senior guard Jae Savage said. “She knows what we all can do as individuals and encourages us to be ourselves.”

Savage is one of six newcomers to the varsity squad this season and will be one player to watch stepping into a new role. Guzman and senior forward Daysia Christian are among the key returners and will look to be two of the main scoring threats along with Savage.

“Daysia is hard to defend and a lot of our offense is going to be based around what she is doing,” Lane said. “With her, we can go with a smaller lineup and that’s where a player like Jae can come in. She’s fast and brings a different flair to the court.

“As for Karen, she is our 3-point specialist and we will be looking a lot for her on the outside.”

Lane added that the team will have another twist this season. She is taking a similar approach to what Braziel-Smith did before her but will have to do it without the post presence of Keegan Tullos and Alena Madero, who both graduated.

“Our biggest strength this year is our quickness,” Lane said. “We don’t have a lot of height this year so we’ll have to make it up by being quick and athletic. That’s always been what Permian has been about so that’s what we’re focusing on.”

Lane’s also going to be leaning on a lot of the leadership from the upperclassmen to help them get on the right track.

“We just have to play hard as a team and make sure that we’re all focused on the right things,” Christian said. “That starts with communication and needing to talk more on the court.”

“It’s just a matter of lifting each other up and playing together,” Savage said. “A lot of the younger players are learning from the upperclassmen so that they can take over and take the team to the next level when we leave.

Of course, the goal is to make it back to the postseason and Lane has full confidence that the team can get the job done.

“These girls want to win and be better and are willing to learn,” Lane said. “We don’t want to be last place in the district and so we’re going to do whatever we can to get past that.”

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