Lady Chieftains open season on Dec. 4

Lady Chieftains ready for season opener
Posted on 11/30/2018
Girls basketball practice(SPS) - The calendar has flipped from fall sports to winter sports and that means it’s time to lace up the high-tops, hang new nets on the hoops, grab the basketballs, and get to work on the court.

That’s exactly what the Lady Chieftains have been doing.

“I think we’re gonna have a great team. Our team had a great summer. The kids are really confident in where we are, what we’re able to do,” said head coach Darlean Calip.

Coming off a 12-12 season, Sapulpa returns four starters from last year’s squad, including seniors Taylor Dement and De’Asia Thomas, both of whom signed letters of intent to play collegiately.

“Sapulpa has great tradition with our girls' basketball program and getting to the next level to play.”

Before Dement and Thomas head off to Central Oklahoma and Alabama A&M, respectively, Calip will rely on them, along with others, to help lead the team this season.

“They’ve played, started every game for us last year. Tremendous experience. Tremendous leadership. But you know, our sophomore class is really strong. They’re athletic, they have a great basketball IQ, so we’re not going to solely rely on those two because we have some other kids that are really good players as well, so it’ll be a balance.”

The first test for the 13th-ranked Lady Chieftains is on the road Dec. 4 at Booker T. Washington. The Hornets are ranked two spots ahead of Sapulpa and they’re new to the conference.

“What a great game to open up with,” said Calip. “I’m excited to have them in our conference. It just gives us a better quality school in our conference plus their great academics so that speaks volumes for our conference.”

It’s the first of six games away from Chieftain Center to start the 2018-19 campaign. The brutal stretch to tip off the season is something Calip has already discussed with her team.

“That’s a big challenge for anybody,” said Calip. “It’s just something that we have to overcome, we have to go through and it's just going to help us later on in playoffs.”

The Lady Chieftains will play in three tournaments this season, the Bulldog Classic in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the Sapulpa Holiday Classic, and Westmoore’s Jaguar Classic.

Calip said the goal for the team this year is to build off of last season and of course to win, but she stressed, winning isn’t just about scoring more points than your opponent.

“We want to win every game, win every tournament we play in but our biggest thing is improving each and every time we step on the court.”

You can view the Lady Chieftains schedule here.

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