MARSHALL, Texas—The third season is here for Liberty-Eylau on the hardwood.
The Lady Leopards (18-11) take on Kilgore (15-8) at 7 tonight in the Class 4A bi-district round of the basketball playoffs at Ornelas Gym on the campus of East Texas Baptist University.
"I've stressed to our girls all season about this moment," Liberty-Eylau head coach Aquanetta Watson said. "I told there are three seasons during the course of the year: the preseason, district play and the playoffs. We've been having some really good practices and I think they're ready.
"We played a really tough preseason schedule to prepare ourselves for the playoffs. Everyone is 0-0 and ready to show off what they have. Nothing else matters but what we do going forward."
The Leopards fell to the Lady Bulldogs earlier this season, 42-35, but L-E has caught its stride as of late, winning three out of its last five games to end the season.
Watson also believes her squad has found its identity throughout the season and she will continue to use her strategy of substituting in waves during the playoffs.
"There are certain points in the game where I'll substitute like that," Watson said. "When we're trying to put pressure on the defense or force a turnover is when I will substitute in waves. It keeps the girls fresh and it also keeps them energized. It's worked a lot for us this season, so we have to keep going with what has brought us to this point. "
The Leopards are at full strength now, which will be another key component in the rematch with Kilgore.
"Earlier this season when we played, we were missing two starters", Watson said. "I think we've gotten better as a team and more mature. I think a team's maturity helps getting better with basketball. Playing them once this season and seeing what they have, hopefully will work to our advantage the second time around."
The winner will face either Canton or Caddo Mills in the area round.