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Texico focused on present

Texico girls basketball coach Buddy Little’s outlook on the season improved Thursday.

His Lady Wolverines beat Whiteface in the first round of the Farwell tournament 50-33. Not bad, considering Little described Whiteface as the best team Texico has faced so far this season.

The Lady Woverines, including three first-year starters, picked up the intensity and effort on the man-to-man defense and showed a lot more cohesiveness.

“Tonight, it’s gone a lot better,” Little said. “We’re starting to come together as a team.”

Playing teams like Whiteface are a part of Little’s plan to get Texico back to the playoffs after falling short last year by a game.

Last February, the 20-5 Lady Wolverines were a game from the state playoffs, but lost 61-48 in the District 6-2A semifinals to Clayton, a team they beat twice during the regular season.

“I think that was a hard lesson learned,” senior Ashley Kidd said. “We went and played three out of the four quarters and that just wasn’t good enough.”

But Texico has learned to push themselves this year, and practices have a different tone this season, Kidd said.

“It’s more intense and more upbeat,” Kidd said. “(Little) doesn’t want to say negative things; he’s always positive, but then again he makes sure you know what you’re doing wrong.”

To return to state after a two-year lay-off, Texico will again have to qualify out of District 6-2A, which Little called “the toughest in the state.” The Lady Wolverines will have to battle Clayton again, as well as Santa Rosa, which lost two players from last year’s district championship team.

To get ready for district play, the schedule has toughened up.

“I’d rather get beat by a good team and see a lot of different things they’re going to throw at you, play against good post players and stuff and learn how to defend them,” Little said. “Beating somebody by 30-40 points doesn’t do you any good.”

Farwell tournament participant Grady was in last year’s Class A state championship, Farwell qualified for regionals in Texas, and Friona beat Grady earlier Thursday 67-38.

“This tournament’s great for us. It’s an outstanding tournament,” Little said.

Additionally, Texico hosts Texas power Sudan next Friday and faces Farwell again and Eunice in February.

“... If we can improve every single quarter we’re going to be pretty good in the end,” Little said.