The holiday break is over, and the Pawhuska girls basketball team returns to court this week. They opened with an away game at Newkirk on Tuesday, and will play host to Dewey Friday night.

The girls games will start at 6:30 p.m.

The Lady Huskies (6-3) recorded second-place finishes in the Agra and Pawhuska tournaments. In the Pawhuska tournament finals, the Lady Huskies lost to Caney Valley, 57-34.

In that game, the Pawhuska girls stumbled out of the blocks. Caney Valley outscored Pawhuska 19-6 in the first quarter, but were able to narrow undefeated Caney Valley’s lead to single digits in the second half. The Lady Trojans pulled away in the fourth.

The final’s game was interesting because coach Luke Broadbent tried some different player rotations during the contest. In previous games, Broadbent substituted five players at a time. Against Caney Valley, he continued this practice, but also substituted by positions.

The team’s identity is pressure defense, Broadbent said.

“We want to pressure people all night long,” Broadbent said.

Fans can expect to see five-player substitutions to continue to keep players fresh, but positions substitutions will be added to the mix as freshmen and sophomore players continue to improve.

Junior Kiana Taylor, sophomores Tatyanna Curry and Shelby Bute and freshman Arianna Soliano have gained experience in the 2017 portion of the season, and should allow Broadbent to vary his substitution pattern.

Soliano scored 18 points in three games in the Pawhuska tournament. She hit three 3-pointers against the Hominy Lady Bucks. Bute, Curry and Taylor showed their floor leadership capabilities in the tourney.

“They are playing beyond their years,” Broadbent said. “They were green, but good. They are settling in and saying ‘we can do that.’”

Broadbent is in his first year as the Pawhuska girl’s basketball coach. It’s also his first year coaching a girl’s team. He previously coached boy’s squads.

The transition, Broadbent said, has been easier than the thought it would be.

“This is the most fun I’ver ever had coaching basketball. They get better with every game and practice, and are starting to realize just how good they can be.”

If the Lady Huskies continue to improve, Broadbent said he believes they will have a long run in the postseason.