Lady Highlanders roll into postseason

By: WOL Sports Staff
| Published 02/16/2015


THE WOODLANDS, Texas - Not a lot was expected of The Woodlands Lady Highlanders this year due to their graduation losses, however Head Coach Dana Bruton has developed this young team extremely well as they just seemed to get better with every game they play this season. After starting just 3-2 in the district season, The Woodlands Lady Highlanders finished the district slate at a torrid, 6-1 clip, and the lone loss was by just four points at Kingwood on January 23rd.

Click here to watch video: Lady Highlanders Playoffs Preview

The Lady Highlanders finished the 2014-15 regular season 19-13 overall, with a 9-3 record in District 16-6A. The Lady Highlanders handed district champion, Atascocita, they’re only district loss, 55-43 on January 30 at home.

The Woodlands will be making their ninth straight playoff appearance, with the last eight under Dana Bruton dating back to ’07-’08 season.

"A pleasant surpirse is how well this group has come together. The team each indiviudally had moments of their contributions to the team, but they've come together played collectively and that's what's made them unique," said Lady Highlanders Head Coach Dana Bruton.

Leading the charge for The Woodlands this season has been a frontcourt duo, along with the emergence of an underclassman up front. Junior Payton Walker who averages 11.6 points per game on the season to go along with 8.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game. Contributing to that 1-2 punch for the Lady Highlanders is Senior forward Aaliyah Wheatfall. Aaliyah is also in double-figures on the season in scoring at 10.4 points per game to go along with 4 rebounds per game and 2 steals per game. The front court duo of Walker and Wheatfall are complimented by the emergence of Sophomore Luisa De La Rosa, who continues to develop in the low post as a defensive force and rebounder, with a team-high average of 9.3 rebounds per game.

The Lady Highlanders shoot the 3-pointer under 30-percent, however more than make up for it as one of the best area free-throw shooting teams at 70-percent from the charity stripe. The Woodlands lost last year’s starting back court in Nicole Iademarco and Kristen Mahoney, two Division I basketball signees to graduation last year. However, Amber Terry, Julia Glandt and Meghan Musso have stepped up big for The Woodlands and given Dana Bruton a solid contingent in the back court.

The Lady Highlanders will face Klein Collins in the Bi-District round of the playoffs on Tuesday, February 17, at Tomball High School, with tip-off at 7pm.

The Woodlands defeated Klein Collins in a non-district match-up, 44-43, back on November 25 in the Lady Highlanders’ ninth game of the season.

"We know they are athletic, quick, have players that are athletic. We have to be able to contain gurad Rexesha Hollis, she can play both ways and in is most dangerous in fastbreak opportunities," said Bruton.

The Woodlands comes in the postseason red hot, winning their last four straight and seven of their last eight games dating back to January 9.

"We didn't like losing in the first round last year, and those players that were on the team, that feeling left them with a bad taste in their mouth," said Bruton.

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