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The 806 girls basketball scene is on fire right now as we have every Lubbock ISD team ranked, led by Lubbock Monterey; who is ranked number one in the state and some say should be ranked in the top 25 in the country. Amarillo, on the other hand leads the way in their area as they are ranked number two in the state and their crosstown rival, Tascosa's Lady Rebels, are ranked 14th in 5A's classification.

So, what are the key points in this game that will determine the outcome? What players need to have exceptional outings in order for their team to win tonight? Here is my preview for both teams.

Monterey is ranked number one for a reason: they are pretty damn good and are led by Coach Jill Schneider; who is a legend on the coaching scene in the Nation and not just the West Texas area. Schneider also has arguably the best player in the nation in 2025 on her roster in Aaliyah Chavez, the 5-star guard with tons of offers and averaging over 30 points a game this year. 2022-23's Lady Plainsmen team has a couple of new players that help spread the floor from teams try to double, and triple team Chavez and one of those players is Ambrosia Cole; a lightning-fast guard with the shifties and a great set of handles as well. Jaelyn Morrison also came from El Paso Hanks and sparks the team with her defense, clutch shooting and three-point accuracy.

And what about Kelly Mora? She is the 2023 Texas Tech commit that keeps it all together and when she wants can go for a 30-point, 20-rebound game at any time. If they are hitting and the floor is spread evenly for Chavez and Cole to attack with Mora down low and Jaelyn hitting from the wings, there's not too much you can do. But how can you stop that?

Well, that's where Coach Jeff Williams comes into play for Amarillo. He has nine returning players back from a team that went to state in 2022 and are hungry to get back there this season too. McKenzie Smith took a break from basketball but came back with a fury this season as she has committed to North Texas and can play with great efficiency on all levels of the court.

The Sandies' roster also has Victoria Barrera, Taytum Bell, Peyton Daniels and the piece that keeps it all together, 2024 Guard, Jada Graves. They will have to lock in on defense and play a lot of team defense on Monterey's entire roster to succeed tonight. My question is this: Amarillo and Monterey like to run, but I don't think that is a good idea for Amarillo because the Lady Plainsmen in the open floor is a major problem. If the Sandies can slow it down, come up with a game plan to not let Aaliyah go for 50 and control the rebounds, they can win this game. If not, Monterey will roll at home.

One thing is for sure: Both teams are going to win their district so they will play again in late February to see who advances to the 5A Regional Tournament. Get ready, this one will be fun.. We'll, the next one too.

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Jasone Pearson 806. 559.9996

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