TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The long road through Region 14 women’s basketball is about to begin, and it’s time to take a look at some of our East Texas contenders.
Let’s start with the team who took home the conference tournament crown, the Angelina College Lady Runners.
Last season, Byron Coleman’s group made it to their first-ever national tournament.
“It adds another level of expectations, because once you achieve something like that you want to do it again so we’re really excited to get going again,” said Coleman. “We were dreaming and floating on cloud nine all summer from what we achieved but we’re back on the court working hard. We want another one so we’re going to be out here working as hard as we can to see if we can duplicate.”
Trinity Valley also qualified for the national tournament and finished the season one game away from the title matchup.
This season, head coach Gerald Ewing is leaning into the program’s rich history, to motivate his team.
“Our quote this year is eight reasons why, and it’s the eight previous national championships that we’ve had before us so it’s eight reasons why we won’t quit,” said Ewing. “Eight reasons why we work hard it’s why we work to get to the national tournament.”
The regular-season champion TJC Apaches return leaders Felmas Koranga and former Lapoynor standout Te’aire Hambrick, who are looking to take Tyler to that next level.
“You want those kids to want it, and it doesn’t matter where you are ranked at the beginning it’s how you finish and what are you going to do at the end,” said head coach Trenia Tillis Hoard.
In her first season at Kilgore College, head coach Addie Lees, led the Lady Rangers to nine straight victories to end the year, including, a win in the Region 14 Tournament.
“I learned first and foremost that if you don’t get better you get left behind so the choice is to get better or you know be last,” said Lees. “I feel like we have no choice but to do that.”
So a new season is about to tip-off in East Texas, and for this group of coaches and players, it’s another chance to make history, in one of the best conferences in the country.