The Maidens had their season opener at home on Saturday, November 4th against Dimmitt.  Taking on a 3A school is no small feat at the 1A level, but our Maidens did it with poise and class. The Maidens fell short with an end score of 32-50, but it was a learning experience and a great first game. Senior, Ruby Gutierrez, and freshman, Aerieana Rodriguez, both took two big charges during the game, and the Maiden displayed a never-quit attitude within the team. 

The Maidens then took on Kress at home on Tuesday, November 7th, and left the gym with their first win of the season that night. During this game the defense was spot on, shutting down big players for Kress. The Maidens fought every quarter and ended the game on top with a score of 50-48. Big plays for the Maidens included a four-point play by freshman Aerieana Rodriguez with a made shot on the three-point line and a foul, making the shot at the free-throw line.  Rodriguez played an incredible game and played with a level head despite being in foul trouble. Clarissa Holland and Ruby Gutierrez both were big players on defense, shutting down big players for Kress, Gutierrez with blocks, and Holland with rebounds and battling their go-to player inside the paint. All around the Maidens played as a team and worked well together, both offensively and defensively. The hustle and heart on the court was evident and resulted in a big victory for the Maidens. 

For their second win of the season, the Maidens traveled to Loop and left with another win. The Maidens topped Loop with a 36-59 victory.  Senior, Clarissa Holland, had a double-double with huge offensive and defensive boards helping the Maidens get the win. Junior, Jayden Keeling, also played a key role with big minutes as a first-year varsity player, playing her best game to date.

The Maidens are finding their new rhythm under the leadership of new head coach, Eric Velasquez. Velasquez has done a great job at coming in and elevating the Maidens program even further, as they have made a playoff appearance at the bi-district round for the past two years. 

Velasquez is big on not only teaching them to be great basketball players, but great people. His leadership extends far beyond the court, and into the classroom and hallways at Morton ISD.  Between stressing excellence in the classroom and creating committees to give the athletes some ownership of their program, Velasquez has made the transition smooth and successful to elevate Maiden athletics to reach its full potential. 

Velasquez says "Different leadership brings different styles and we want defense to be our identity. We want it to be what separates us from the teams we compete against," which is apparent to anyone who has seen the Maidens play this year. These girls are arguably the most defensively sound they've been in the past 5 years, and are aggressive go-getters on the defensive end of the court. 

"We are changing the mindset of how others view our program. Complete program overhaul in how we do things and how we treat people. Our three goals are to build better young ladies, better students, and better athletes," says Velasquez on his goals for the Maiden basketball program this season. 

The Maidens have their three standards for the year which they call the 3 B's. 

1. Be the best version of yourself. 

2. Be the best teammate every day. 

3. Bring positive energy/attitude. 

This season is looking bright for the Maidens. Velasquez's leadership no doubt will help the Maidens soar this season. They will be traveling to Tahoka this weekend, starting Thursday, November 16th to begin tournament play. Good luck to our Maidens this weekend and this season! If you are able, go support our Maidens as they begin their basketball journey for the 2023 - 2024 season!