For second-year head coach Tara Koran, there’s two versions of Springfield High School girls basketball.
There’s the “old” Springfield – the team that would stack up technical fouls and lose its composure at the drop of a hat – and the “new” Springfield.
Koran’s “new” team grabbed its seventh win of the season with a 58-44 victory at West Creek. The Lady Yellow Jackets (7-10) have won four of their last six games after a 6-22 campaign last year.
“It’s kind of showing that we’ve improved some,” Koran said. “Most games we’ll have somebody from the school tell us how big of a difference they are already from last year to this year.”
They were tied with West Creek (2-15) at the end of the first quarter on Friday, but a 13-2 run to start the second gave Springfield breathing room the rest of the way.
The Lady Jackets hit five 3-pointers in the first half, three of which came from senior guard Sarah Tejeda.
“I think we got a little tired,” said Lady Coyotes coach Aaron Keener, whose roster was depleted to just seven players due to illness. “We worked hard, (but) we didn’t have the rotation like they do. They really played hard.”
Springfield’s lead grew to 16 points in the fourth quarter before West Creek trimmed it to eight in the final minute.
They managed to fend off the comeback attempt and came away with another win.
“We are keeping our composure,” Koran said.
“Even when you saw West Creek kind of put a little bit of a run on us, we didn’t fold. That’s old Springfield. Old Springfield would’ve been ‘Oh my God, it’s the same old, same old’ and we would’ve folded and let them stay with us.”
While senior guards Tejeda and Shamarri Cantrell have helped with their second-year improvement, transfer players Kielee Bradley (Mount Pleasant), Taniya Partee (East Nashville) and Rayne Erickson (Kansas) have been starters for the team since opening night.
The trio of newcomers combined to score 27 points in a balanced attack on Friday. Tejeda was the team’s leader on offense with 13.
“I think anytime you win a district game on the road and come all the way out here, I’m happy with it,” Koran said. “Hopefully when they come to us it’ll be a little bit different and we’ll be able to win how I believe we should have.”
Springfield’s last winning season came in 2019 under Todd Babington.
Now 1-1 in District 13-4A, the Lady Yellow Jackets host Northeast on Tuesday to continue district play. West Creek travels to Dickson County that night.
Springfield (58): Sarah Tejeda 13, Taniya Partee 12, Kielee Bradley 9, Shamarria Cantrell 9, Rayne Erickson 6, Aaliyah Scharkley 4, Olivia Merritt 3.
West Creek (44): Reagan Fisher 17, Ariy Denson 13, Sarena Bassham 5, Amarachi Chukwuemeka 4, Alexiya Blackwell 4, Madziyonna Calloway 2.