The Wharton Lady Tigers had to play catch-up quickly when they started district play on Wednesday, Jan. 6 against Bellville at home.
Leading up to the game, heavy rains blasted Wharton County right up to game time. It explained the spare crowd that went to see the Lady Tigers.
Wharton lost by a 45-34 score. WHS fell to 7-4 on the year, and is 0-1 in district.
The Lady Tigers had been away from the basketball court since the week before Christmas. Wharton ISD decided to switch to remote learning, suspending practices and games until Monday, Jan. 4.
The Lady Tigers went into the game without as much practice time on the court as the other teams in the district.
"During this time (during a pandemic), I expected games being canceled and limited practices," Wharton coach Ratysha Hardy said. "We're just going to do what we have to do to get back in gear."
Wharton last year finished in third place. The Lady Tigers lost to La Grange in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.
Wharton's district this year includes El Campo, Sealy and Brookshire Royal who the Lady Tigers played last season. They will also face new additions Navasota and Bellville who were added during the last realignment.
Navasota, Brookshire Royal, Wharton and El Campo all made the playoffs last year.
Bellville doesn’t return any all-district players.
Navasota last season won its district and had the district defensive MVP, who'll be a senior. Navasota will also return a sophomore first-team all-district player.
Sealy is returning one first-team all-district player, a junior.
Brookshire Royal last year won the district and had the district defensive MVP who is a junior. Royal also is returning two first-team all-district players, a senior and a junior. The Lady Falcons also have a senior second-team all-district player.
The El Campo Ladybirds returned seniors, Jackie Nichols the district MVP and Shorter the offensive MVP.
Wharton is bringing back a talented duo in senior J'Kayla Davis and junior Justaisha Holmes both first-team all-district players. The two have led the team in scoring during non-district games.
The Lady Tigers Friday will go on the road and play Navasota.