WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Lady Wranglers ready for rebound season

The Odessa College women’s basketball team looks to rebound in 2022-23 after struggles a season ago.

Second-year head coach Franqua Bedell saw plenty of positives from the Lady Wranglers in spite of an 8-18 overall mark in the program’s return from a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic and search for a new coach.

“If you look at our record, we lost a bunch of games by one or two possessions,” Bedell said. “I thought we were talented enough.

“We just weren’t tough enough to win games.”

The Lady Wranglers had 14 freshmen on the roster last season and most not been through a collegiate season.

This season, the team has seven sophomores.

Only two returners, however, in Isamery Agramonte and Nahawa Diarra Berthe.

“We have some kids that did not play basketball as freshmen, but there are also some kids that played at junior colleges,” Bedell said. “It’s a different system and a different league that is a bit more competitive that where they were at.”

On top of that, the team dealt with a rash of injuries last season, something that is already impacting this year’s team.

“The biggest thing is staying healthy,” Bedell said.

Three of the Lady Wranglers’ starting five did not play during a scrimmage against Ranger College on Saturday at the OC Sports Center.

Freshman forward Chelsy Bautista, freshman swing guard/forward Ivana Krajina and sophomore forward Khaniah Gardner all missed the scrimmage due to various ailments.

“Chelsy Bautista may be out for a little while,” Bedell said.

Bedell expects the best out of his young squad.

“(My expectation) is for us to play at a high level,” Bedell said.

The style of offense the Lady Wranglers play is up-tempo and with pace.

“We do a lot of quick hitters and we isolate,” Bedell said. “A lot of our stuff is ball screens, trying to isolate, trying to get people to get downhill and to crash and kick-out (back to the ball-handlers).”

Defensively, the game plan is just to repeatedly force a full-court press, with a man-to-man, half-court defense and occasionally running zone defense.

“We’ll mix it up between full-court zone and full court man-to-man,” Bedell said.

Bedell presses on health being the key factor for the Lady Wranglers this season.

“We’ve just got to grow, mature and stay healthy,” Bedell said. “The biggest thing is to stay healthy as our important players hold an important role on the team and we’ve got to stay true to today.”

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