Nyellie Lee scored the game-winning basket to advance her team to the Class 1A Regional Quarterfinal game last season as a freshman.

This year, the same expectations were put on Nyellie Lee.

Head Coach Josh Fostel said, “Yeah she’s come a long way and she’s been out some with injuries and stuff but you know it’s kind of the last time we played Hermleigh in our tournament and stuff you can really tell how much better she’s gotten from a year ago. Of course, she was just a freshman but just she’s been a lot better with her back to the basket playing down low and just becoming a lot more solid player in a year.”

But it hasn’t been the easiest road for the now sophomore post.

Nyellie Lee said, “I fell and took a charge and it hurt it like really really bad. It triggered it a lot so that’s when I got sent in and that’s when we found out it was a cyst and had to have surgery and they said it could take, the recovery, could take until playoffs started so that was not good at all. But it healed really fast actually, it took like probably a week, that’s how fast it healed and so then I was back on the court.”

Even though she’s been out most of the season, Lee is in the top 20 leading scorers in the Big Country.

Hanna Cauthen said, “She definitely is one of our key players and I’m so thankful that I’ve gotten to play with her. Which we have a very young team, and at the beginning of the year I was like oh my gosh we have a lot of ground to cover, but she has stepped up tremendously. Of course she got hurt, which that’s not great at all but she’s recovered and it’s like she never even got hurt so I think she’s better than before.”

Nyellie and the Lady Pirates are hoping for another playoff run this year.