When he first took over the Greenville Christian School girls basketball program, Lady Eagles coach Hayden Flowers asked his players how many of them had ever won a varsity basketball game.

No one raised her hand.

Two years later the state-ranked Lady Eagles will be gunning for their 20th victory of the season as they open the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools playoffs at 5 p.m. today at Royse City High School in a bi-district contest against Grand Prairie Shady Grove.

It goes without saying that the 19-10 Lady Eagles are very excited to be in the playoffs. They wound up sharing the TAPPS District 5-2A title with McKinney Christian but lost the top playoff seed in a playoff game on Monday.

GCS has been winning with a small lineup that includes 5-1 junior Kathleen Heine, 5-3 junior Missy McDaniel, 5-4 junior Ashlee Draughn and 5-5 junior Emily Howell. Ashley Flint, a 5-11 junior, is the only tall player in the GCS lineup.

“We’re excited because all five starters are juniors,” said Flowers.

Flint has been leading GCS this season with averages of 16.1 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.5 blocked shots and 3.2 steals per game. Draughn is averaging 11.9 points and 4.0 rebounds. McDaniel is averaging 11.1 points, 5.2 assists and 4.7 steals.

Flowers said Shady Grove will have the height advantage, but that’s nothing new to the Lady Eagles.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to outshoot them,” said Flowers.

GCS is ranked 18th among the small private schools in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ latest rankings. Shady Grove is 19th.

The winner of this game advances to the area round to play the winner between Austin Hill Country and No. 5 state-ranked Waco Texas Christian.

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