Aztec’s younger group still adjusting to motion offense

Lady Tigers favore free-flowing approach this season

Matt Hollinshead,
Aztec's Jessi Gillentine drives past a quartet of Kirtland Central defenders for a layup during Saturday's District 1-5A game at Lillywhite Gym. The Tigers' motion offense is more free-flowing this season to help develop the younger and less-experienced players.
  • Aztec's 13-player roster features eight underclassmen.
  • The Tigers are 8-11 overall and 2-4 in district play.

AZTEC — To cater to its less-experienced roster, the Aztec girls basketball team has altered its motion offense.

The Tigers are running more of a free-flowing version of it instead of prioritizing set plays.

“With just our basic five-out and four-out (schemes), they understand it because that’s what they’ve learned they’re entire lives,” junior center  Reigan Weaver said.

The goal is simple: give the young ones the freedom to find open shots and build confidence. This year’s been a work in progress for Aztec, especially the latter.

The Tigers, whose 13-player roster includes eight underclassmen, have been able to play a bit faster on the scoring end, but coach Robert McCaskill said they’re still having difficultly reading defenses.

“They don’t have quick adjustments to what’s going on,” McCaskill said. “It takes time. Right now, they don’t have the confidence to take the shots, the confidence to take the person off the dribble.”

Players still have their moments where they either hold on to the ball too long or may shoot too soon when the nerves set in.

But they’ve also had some moments where they drove to the basket with defenders swarming around them and also had quicker releases shooting the ball.

Additionally, McCaskill said everybody’s contributing in taking shots.

“They’re starting to shoot the ball in open spots,” McCaskill said, also mentioning players are making better passes to set up those chances.

Aztec (8-11, 2-4) expected growing pains from the start and is exhibiting patience with the younger group.

“It’s going to take a while for them to watch and actually know what to do, but they’re getting the hang of it,” Weaver said.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.