KATY (Covering Katy News)—In 1998, when she was a senior at Katy High School, Shanna Marhofer played on a district champion basketball team that went undefeated in district play.
This year, 21 years later, Marhofer is in her fourth year as head coach and 17th overall on the Katy coaching staff. She has seen things come full circle. The Lady Tigers are again a district champion basketball team that went undefeated in district play.
Despite the timespan between titles, Marhofer said the teams have much in common.
“Both teams bought into what the coaches wanted to accomplish,” Marhofer said. “They took preparation seriously, and it played a huge part in our success, and it was that way when I was a senior in high school.”
Marhofer said the program pushes team above self and that it focuses on its members not just as basketball players, but as people.
“When kids feel that way, they’ll run through a wall for you,” Marhofer said. “It’s the kind of culture that we’ve tried to build at Katy and the kids have bought into that.”
This year’s Lady Tigers team had four returning starters from last year’s team, starting with senior guard Savannah May, who earned the district’s Defensive Player of the Year honors. She also averages 13 points per game.
“She’s just a very calming presence on the court for our team,” Marhofer said. “She just dominates on the defensive end. She just anticipates very well, and she broke the record for steals.”
Marhofer said junior forward Alana Thompson has a shooting range and can make three-point shots off the dribble.
“She (also) generally has a tough defensive assignment, having to guard one of the opponent’s better players,” Marhofer said.
Senior guard Cassidy Howard suffered an injury in the Cinco Ranch game and has been dealing with a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament. Marhofer said she hoped that Howard will be able to return and play in the playoffs.
Marhofer said senior Rachel Williams, who plays post, has been a dominating presence this season. She’s had several double-double (points and rebounds) games and rebounds very well.
“She has a nice touch on the perimeter, so she can shoot the three, which is very nice,” Marhofer said.
Another senior, Kassidy Weaver, also plays post. This is Weaver’s first season on the varsity, Marhofer said, but she plays like an experienced varsity player.
“She has a big-time presence on the boards,” Marhofer said. “She’s a very strong, physical player, and she finishes very well around the rim, but she can also shoot the three.”
The Lady Tigers defeated Fort Bend Bush, 79-74, Monday night in the bi-district round. May scored 18 points in the win.
“Bush came out on fire, and there were draining threes left and right,” Marhofer said. “We had to change what we do defensively, and then they started attacking the rim. We actually got down by 10 points in the first quarter.”
Next up for Katy is Heights, which defeated Cy-Fair in the bi-district round. The time, date, and place for that game will be decided Wednesday.
“I’m extremely proud of these girls and how they rallied around each other,” Marhofer said. “They fought to stay on top of the district and they will continue to fight to win in the playoffs. Not just the starters, but the kids coming off the bench.”
Marhofer also praised Emily Mital, the varsity assistant, and described her as a real blessing.
“Our success would not be our success without her doing a great job,” Marhofer said. “She helps me scout, she helps with the video, and she does a great job.”