Developing a style of play that suits a team is no easy task, but the senior members of the Cascade Lady Champion team have had plenty of time to work on it.
And Coach Chad Spencer feels that this year is the year for them to make their run.
"They really enjoy playing together. They've developed a little bit of a sixth sense about where each other is at on the court. I look for great things," he said.
That sixth sense began to peak through last year early in the season and the Lady Champs began their year on an absolute tear, knocking off several teams that made eventual appearances in the state tournament.
This year, those juniors are now seniors. Couple their leadership, as well as some height in the post, and Cascade could to be a dangerous team in the 2012-2013 season.
Those seniors--Haley Edmondson, Kelsey Parker, Andrea Pigg, Haylee Simpson, Elora Skuce, and Alyssa Hoover have been the kernel for the production in the past several years.
Throw in senior transfer Karly Grissom, and the Lady Champs not only have senior leadership, but a deep roster of talent to pull from.
In addition to the veteran talent returning, Cascade also has some rookies joining the roster that are ripe with talent and height in the post--which was something the Lady Champs didn't have a lot of in years past.
"We are very deep. Maya (Gaston) and Shaina (Schneider) are both freshmen, but they're the tallest kids we've had since I've been here. It's good to have some tall posts," Spencer said.
After last season's hot start, the Lady Champs cooled off and struggled at times to string together wins--a problem Spencer said came from peaking too soon in the season.
This year, the Lady Champs put in the work during the summer with the hopes of peaking around tournament time.
In that summer work, as well as the upcoming non-district schedule, the Lady Champs loaded up on some of the area's top talent from bigger classifications.
"We had a great summer with our summer camp. We try to play competition that's going to make us better. The seniors have really been leaders--all of them. That's what's so special," Spencer said.
Despite struggling after their Thanksgiving tournament last year, Cascade still finished third in the district and clinched a trip to the region.
"I thought last year we peaked too early. We did really well in the Thanksgiving tournament and beat some teams that got into the state tournament," Spencer said.
"A lot of the state tournament is the luck of the bracket you get in."
Cascade fell in a tough bracket before eventually falling to Houston County.
This year's district competition looks to be as tough as ever and the Lady Champs have to bring their A-game every night.
"We can't take a district game off. Any night, any team in our district is capable of knocking off the No. 1 team," Spencer said.
Maybe, just maybe, the Lady Champs will prove to be the exception if they can rise and claim the No. 1 ranking this season.