The Howe Team Camp for girls basketball teams from 12 area high schools opened its three-day run on June 16, and 54 games will be played on two courts before the final games on the 18th. Each team will play three games a day during the camp.

This is the third year that Howe coach Derek Lands has offered this camp to area teams and there has been no shortage of support for the event.

Bigger schools such as Sherman, Melissa and North Lamar will be playing in the event, along with smaller schools including Sam Rayburn, Bells and Wolfe City.

Teams from Whitewright, Gunter, Leonard, Pilot Point and Pottsboro will join the Howe Lady Bulldogs for hoops action.

In the first day of the camp, I witnessed some stellar basketball performances.

Howe’s first game was against Pilot Point and the Lady Bulldogs more than held their own against the Lady Bearcats. Pilot Point will be a district foe next season as University Interscholastic League re-alignment has placed both schools in Class 3A, District 10 for the 2014-15 season.

Howe had just seven players available for the first day of the camp, and that short bench became a factor as the day progressed.

Only two of those seven ladies were varsity members last season, and Alissa Smith and Darci Foster carried most of the scoring load for the Lady Bulldogs. Joining them were Madisyn Hargrove, Kayla Anderson, Kamryn Fulenchek and Hunter Brockelman, all rising sophomores.

A transfer from Johnson City, Kaity Helpenstell, also played for Howe. She will be a junior next year.

Foster got the scoring started against the Lady Cats, knocking down a pair of shots from inside the paint before Anderson showed some range with a three from the top of the arc. Hargrove got inside to put back a pair of buckets off of offensive rebounds and the Lady Bulldogs prevailed in their opener.

About an hour later, the Lady Bulldogs ran into all sorts of problems as they took on Pottsboro, another district foe next season.

Howe matched points with the Lady Cardinals through the first 10 minutes before Pottsboro began to pull away. The Lady Cardinals took a 12-point lead into the halftime break.

In the second half, Pottsboro’s Tatum Marburger and Macie O’Hanlon were scoring from the perimeter and driving the ball to the hoop, with little resistance from the Howe defense.

Nine games in three days is a tough test for these players from all 12 teams and, despite the fact that school is out, they are getting an education.

The Lady Bulldogs standout post player Riley Harvey is sitting out with a foot injury but is expected to be back in action by the end of the month.

Play at the Howe Team Camp continues through Wednesday.