Girls’ quartet expecting to build on winning ways of previous season
Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 12:02 pm
The 2010-11 season was a banner year for girls’ basketball in Weakley County.
This season could be more of the same.
Coming off a year when all four teams won at least 20 games and advanced to their respective regional tournaments, the 2011-12 season is expected to be just as exciting.
Dresden brings back a strong team blessed with experience, while Westview and Greenfield will look for role players and younger members of their squads to step up.
The following is a look at all four Weakley County girls’ teams.
DRESDEN LADY LIONS
Experienced, deep and balanced, Dresden could be in for a long postseason run this year after getting within a game of the sectional round last season.
Dresden posted a 22-9 mark in 2010-11, reaching the Region 7A Tournament semifinals, and has a solid group returning in head coach Jonathan West’s eighth season.
“We have a lot of experience with returning players who have started and played a lot,” said West, now 119-85 in his Dresden tenure. “Outside those five, no one else on the team has much experience at all. The key for our team is for the young players, as well as the veterans, to continue to improve each day so we can be at our best in February.”
Amy McAlpin, a 5-9 sophomore, averaged 11 points and four rebounds a game last year, and will be joined by a pair of 5-6 senior guards who can put up points in Alex Glisson and Jessica Jones. Glisson averaged nine points and Jones eight last year.
Allie Reynolds, a 5-11 senior, had four points and four rebounds a game, and 5-5 senior Kristen Childress contributed five points a game last year.
That group, along with some young players West is hoping will step up, should fill the void of graduated players Jessica Parsley and Amy Reddick.
Parsley averaged eight points and seven boards, while Reddick contributed four points a game last season.
GLEASON LADY BULLDOGS
If tradition is one of the intangibles that keeps a team from rebuilding, the Lady Bulldogs might need to rely heavily on it this season.
After graduating eight seniors over the past two seasons, Gleason brings a very young and inexperienced team into the 2011-12 season.
“Hopefully, some of that tradition is still with us,” head coach Joel Ayers said. “Last year, we probably exceeded some people’s expectations, and this year we’re probably not expected to do as well again.”
Alex King returns as the only senior on the team, joining solid post player Briana Jones as the only returning starters. Jaclyn Montgomery will also figure in the starting mix.
The Lady Bulldogs graduated three guards from last year’s 22-7 team that won the District 13A Tournament.
GREENFIELD LADY ’JACKETS
Willie Trevathan’s squad graduated two of its top three players from last season’s 20-9 team, but don’t count off this season as a rebuilding year.
Shameilla McMullen returns to lead the Lady Yellowjackets after averaging 10.5 points and seven rebounds a game for the 2010-11 squad, which reached the Region 7A Tournament following a second-place finish in the District 14A regular season race and third-place spot in the postseason district tourney.
“A lot of what we do will center around Shameilla,” Trevathan said. “She’s our most experienced returner. How we do as a team will hinge on how well the others play.”
McMullen was one-third of a dominating trio for Greenfield, which also included Jordan Galey and Emily Randolph. Both players capped stellar prep careers in style with a 20-win season. Galey closed the book on an outstanding prep run with 16.5 points, six rebounds and 4.5 steals per game, while Randolph pitched in nearly 10 points and six rebounds per contest.
Emily Allen and Andrea Smith were starters last season, but will have to go from playing roles to being leaders on the floor at the guard spots.
Haley Rawls is being counted on to expand her game this season after being hampered much of last year with a deep thigh bruise.
WESTVIEW LADY CHARGERS
Sean Stephenson and the Westview girls’ basketball program are used to winning.
The coach has compiled an impressive 274-124 worksheet in a 13-year career that began down the road at Dresden in 1999. He has put up 159 of those wins during his tenure at Martin, which began in 2005.
So, last season’s 21-11 overall mark and 11-5 District 13AA record, with a trip to the Region 7AA Tournament, was certainly par for the course.
Despite an inexperienced team this season, don’t be surprised if the Lady Chargers make another deep postseason run.
“I’m really excited about this year,” Stephenson said. “We have a lot of players who have been working hard since the end of last season to improve their individual games. We are young in the fact that we don’t have any seniors who have played any at all. However, we’re expecting everyone to prepare to meet the challenge of our district.”
The Lady Chargers lost three-year starter and all-district player Jacey Sims as well as two-year starter Breanna Pitcher, who earned all-district and all-region honors, to graduation.
Pitcher averaged 14 points, and Sims added seven points a game.
Teddy Vincent and Kaley Leyhue form a good returning nucleus, however.
Both are 5-11, giving the Chargers size at the three and four spots.
Vincent averaged 8.7 points a game last season, shooting a team-best 86.7 percent at the free throw line. Leyhue, meanwhile, averaged 6.7 points and was the team’s top rebounder with six a game. Published in The WCP 11.15.11