The Athens Review
Basketball season has officially arrived.
The Trinity Valley Community College men’s and women’s basketball teams are set to kick off the 2012-13 season. The defending national champion Lady Cardinals will put their 36-game winning streak on the line when they face McLennan at the McLennan Community College Tipoff in Waco Friday at 6 p.m.
The Lady Cards wrap up the MCC Tipoff Saturday at 2 p.m. against Temple.
The Cardinals (21-10 in 2011) will open regular season play Saturday in Weatherford, Okla. They will face Northern Oklahoma College-Enid at noon Saturday and Carl Albert State College on Sunday at 11 a.m.
Both programs have that new car smell, with each being led by a new coach and a roster full of almost completely new faces.
The Lady Cards, who were unanimously selected to finish first in the conference by coaches last month, have Elena Lovato at the helm. Lovato served as an interim coach in 2009 and guided the team to a 9-2 finish and a trip to the national tournament. The next season, she led Grayson to the national tournament before that school shuttered its program.
Lovato has only one returning player off last year’s 36-0 squad — Keiana Vines, a 6-5 post who suffered a knee injury in preseason workouts and is now out for the season.
Kris Baumann faces the same situation in his first season as men’s coach, with 6-8 Dominique Elliott being the lone returning starter from a year ago.
Both TVCC teams will open the home portion of the schedule on Tuesday, Nov. 6. The Lady Cardinals will host the Australian Junior National Team at 5:30 p.m., with the men following at 7:30 p.m. against the Texas Riders.