Robert E. Lee is the only District 12-5A team yet to play a league game, but that will be remedied Friday when the Lady Raiders square off against North Mesquite. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the REL Varsity Gymnasium.
Lee had a bye through the first slate of games on Tuesday as 12-5A now features an odd number of teams (7) with the subtraction of DeSoto and the additions of Rockwall-Heath and Rockwall.
Realignment swapped one state power, DeSoto, with another, Rockwall while Rockwall-Heath also figures to have a say in the overall district race.
“The district is tough, but I would rather give up DeSoto and get Rockwall and Rockwall-Heath, because it was a mental thing with our kids (against DeSoto),” said Lee coach Lloyd Mahaffey. “At least with these new teams we have a new target and goal to shoot for without any history.”
The Lady Raiders (8-10) have struggled through non-district, but enter league play off a victory Tuesday at Rusk.
Last year’s leading scorer, senior Ciara Johnson, left the team in the early weeks of the season. Lee’s Berjae Lewis, Tree Brooks, Dominique Thomas, DaJah Thompson and Emem David have been asked to fill the void as Johnson averaged nearly a double-double per game.
Brooks is REL’s leading scorer with 8.4 points per game while Berjae Lewis (7.4 ppg), Thompson (7.0 ppg), Thomas (6.6 ppg) and David (7.2 ppg) have all raised their scoring averages from a year ago.
Rockwall (12-5, 1-0) edged out Mesquite Horn by three points on Tuesday to sit tied for first, along with Mesquite and North Mesquite. The Lady Stallions (4-10, 1-0) began their league slate by rocking Rockwall-Heath, 61-36.
Lee won both meetings against North Mesquite by 40 points last season, but Mahaffey said his team must raise its level of play for this league opener and beyond if it wants to attain its goal of reaching the postseason for a third straight year.