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Devilette pride not lost by Lee’s few gals

Devilette pride not lost by Lee’s few gals
The South Fulton girls’ basketball team might as well use the motto of the United States Marines Corps this season.
After all, only nine players will be in the huddle for head coach Curt Lee to choose from.
And Lee is hopeful at the end of this season that his team — comprised of three seniors, two sophomores and four freshman — can boast “the few, the proud” much like the military branch does.
“We’re not going to be very deep for obvious reasons,” Lee said of the smallest squad in his tenure at SF. “We’re pretty young and we’ve got to get this team to step up quickly if we are going to compete in this district.
“We’d like to finish in the middle of the pack and try to slip up and surprise a couple of the top tier teams, but we’re going to have to play to our strength of team basketball in order to do that.”
From last season, the Devilettes, who finished with a 11-15 record and fell in the first round of the District 14A tournament for the third straight campaign, return a quartet that saw court time last season as role players.
This season, those players will be depended upon to become the standout performers for SF.
However, the Devilettes did have some key losses due to graduation in the persons of leading scorer Chelsea Cox and point guard Cherissa Vinson.
Also gone is Katie Bivens, who elected not to return to the court for the 2008-09 campaign.
With those losses in mind, Lee, who enters the season just five wins shy of 100 with a 95-92 record in seven seasons as the South Fulton mentor, will be relying on forward Maeghan Eaves (Sr., 5-9) to provide a diversified effort.
Eaves, who saw time last season as a post and a guard for SF, is penciled in as a small forward this season although she will be utilized on the outside as well.
Lee expects Eaves to play a split role this season as both a post inside when needed and as a threat from beyond the arc.
Joining Eaves as a returning starter is center Brooke Kane (Sr., 5-9).
Kane, who averaged four rebounds per game last season, is the team’s best inside player and her experience and leadership are big positives for the young Devilettes’ squad.
Also among the starting five is point guard Cori Jo Edmison (Fresh., 5-2).
For Lee, it is a move of necessity as it’s the first time that he has started a ninth-grader at the point guard position.
“Cori Jo’s not going to be alone as our only point guard, but she’s the starter,” Lee said. “I hope she can grow into that role quickly as I plan on using her as our primary ballhandler, though, she will get some help from time to time.”
Lauren Dowdy (Sr., 5-7) is also penciled in to be used as other guard as she returns after averaging four points per game during her junior campaign.
The final starter for the Devilettes is forward Paxton Sisson (Soph., 5-6). Sisson’s transition to a starter may be made easier by the fact that she cycled in many games last season as a freshman.
On the bench, SF has just four options to choose from and each of those has minimal experience at the high school level.
Coming off that aforementioned bench, Morgan Kane (Fresh., 5-4) will join her older sister on the hardwood as she cycles in as a guard.
Meanwhile, forward Danesia Pettigrew (Soph., 5-6) is expected to come in as a back-up.
Also reporting for duty and ready for action from the pine is the freshman duo of Savannah Larson (5-3) and Marina Barclay (5-3). Both players, along with Morgan Kane and Edmison, were members of the Obion County School System champion SF team last season as eighth-graders and they are veterans of Lee’s “team first” system in the middle school ranks.
“I think one of our biggest strengths this season is what we can do as a team,” Lee said. “We don’t have one individual that we’re going to depend upon for the bulk of our points.
“I’m putting the weight of our success on each player’s shoulders and hopefully that can help to get this group on the same page as a team working to a common goal.”
South Fulton opens the 2008-09 campaign tonight in a TSSAA Hall of Fame game at Westview.
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at kcoker@ucmessenger.com.

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