Despite losing four basketball games since before the Christmas break, the Brady Lady Bulldogs appear to be playing better, according to coach Ted Epley. “In our game last Monday against Ballinger, we lost 51-31, but the score was much closer than it appeared. We played one of the better games of the season against a very good Ballinger team,” he said. “We were shorthanded since Jennifer Valdez could not play, but the rest of the team stepped up and did a great job. We’re getting closer to playing like we’re capable of playing, which is good since we open up district play Friday (tonight) in Llano,” Epley said. Tallie Wright led the scoring for the Lady Dawgs against Ballinger with 10 points. Cassie Williams was next with six. In the three games at the Bangs tournament Dec. 27-29, the Lady Dawgs lost three close games. In the first round, Brady faced Priddy, the No. 4 ranked team in Class A, and lost, 37-32. “We played pretty well considering we were coming off the UIL five-day break for Christmas,” Epley said. “We shot horribly inside the three-point line, making only four of 29, but we were 43 percent from the three-point arc which is encouraging,” he added. Williams led the scoring for Brady with 15 points while Valdez had seven. In the second round game against Albany, the Lady Dawgs fell again, 60-48. “It was a frustrating game because we had numerous chances to win. We again shot horribly in the first half from two-point range, making only three of 21 shots (14 percent) with many of those coming from the lane,” Epley said. The Brady girls were within three points late in the contest, but Albany made the shots down the stretch. Leading Brady scorers were Krystal Jacoby 10, Valdez 9 and Kayce Pollok 9. In the final game the Lady Dawgs lost to Brownwood, 44-37. “Again, we had our chances, but we just came up short. We’re beginning to play more consistently, but we still have a way to go and a short time to get there,” Epley said. Leading scorers for Brady against Brownwood were Williams 12, Jacoby 8 and Pollok 8. Epley said that Llano is very strong this season. “The Lady Yellowjackets were the Region IV champions last year and they are currently ranked No. 4 in the state,” he said. “This will be a great challenge for us, but I believe our team will go down there and compete,” Epley said.