Through a decade of dominance, the Sachse girls basketball team has learned how to find and develop talent.
The Lady Mustangs have won nine district championships in the last 10 years, including eight in a row, and had a state semifinal run a couple of years ago. They’ve been led by star power year after year, most recently two-time district MVP Adhel Tac, who’s now playing basketball at TCU.
It’s never easy to be the next great player at a program with sky-high expectations, but Crislyn Rose has learned to embrace those expectations and provide the scoring punch needed to keep Sachse going in 2021.
Rose was a standout as a freshman last season, leading the team with 33 three-point field goals made. She used that to be named the District 10-6A newcomer of the year last season and help the Lady Mustangs to another undefeated district record.
“She moved from last year being sort of a luxury bonus item for us to now taking ownership of being a leader consistently and providing that scoring for us,” Sachse head coach Donna McCullough said. “It’s easy to ask someone to take more shots, but it’s scoring and creating consistently that we’ve been working with her to get even better and help us win. She’s gone from a great bonus to us to being a leader of the team.”
Rose said she was surprised to hear about winning an award last season but was more focused on helping the team win.
“It felt great to be named newcomer of the year,” Rose said. “I really didn’t know there were awards like that but it was cool to get that as a freshman.”
Rose was a key scorer last season filling an important role for a strong Lady Mustangs team. Her coming-out party last season occurred against Waco Midway in the regional playoffs, where she scored 17 points and added six assists to advance Sachse to the regional quarterfinals. The talent and scoring capabilities were prevalent throughout the season.
“I kind of knew that I would need to take on a big role,” Rose said. “Even as a freshman coach told me that I would play an important part to the team. When our seniors left I knew I had to come in and step up this season.”
Even her coach knew it was time to take on a bigger role with the team. It’s not something she had to do often, but coach McCullough knew that giving the keys to the offense to her star sophomore was necessary to help the team win.
“It’s been off and on where a young player has had to take on the focal point of the offense,” McCullough said. “In Crislyn’s case, she’s the only star sophomore who made a major impact her freshman season on varsity. There are some young kids that are perfectly capable of playing at this level but they have to grow up quickly as she has.”
This season, it would’ve been easy for Rose to get frustrated with how things were going. The team has had multiple shutdowns due to COVID-19 and recently had only played one game in a month span. The difficulties of lack of practice caused Sachse to lose its 69-game district winning streak. With it all, Rose said it’s just part of the adversity that comes with the game.
“It was a lot at first,” Rose said. “It took a bit to get used to but it’s something I just had to figure out and go out and play the game.”
Sachse’s most recent win against South Garland showed where this team can go with Rose the focal point of the offense. It was the energy brought on both ends coming off of a last-second loss to Lakeview Centennial that sparked two double-digit runs for Sachse. They dominated throughout and won the game 69-8, with Rose leading the way with 16 points and bringing it on the defensive end.
She’s led the team in scoring in many games this season, but coach McCullough sees the little thing that she’s put the work in that has made her one of the best players in the district.
“Consistency is the hardest part, especially with team’s beginning to key on her,” McCullough said. “We’ve already seen the steps she’s made in being a better creator, defender and scorer. She’s grown up a lot and taken on a lot of responsibility as only a sophomore.”
Rose said she felt the early scouting report on her was a three-point shooting specialist, and she wanted to prove she’d be able to do it all.
“I like making 3-pointers, but there’s more to my game than my outside shot,” Rose said. “I’ve worked really hard on the defensive side of the ball and taking more pride in that part of the game.”
Even battling through a difficult season, Rose’s talent has shown and Sachse still finds itself in the playoff picture at 4-2 in district play despite multiple cancellations. With still two games to makeup, Sachse sees an opportunity to build momentum towards the postseason. Coach McCullough also likes the future of the team with Rose at the center.
“She’s up there with the best as far as talent,” McCullough said. “It is a development process and she’s on her way, but there’s going to be work put in to hit her progression levels. There’s a lot of highly skilled basketball players who can fit on a varsity team as a freshman. Some kids respond well and some take longer. She’s responded really well and it’s a bonus that we get two more years with her.”
Rose and the Lady Mustangs will continue their season Tuesday at Rowlett.
By Kyle Grondin • [email protected]