Girls’ season under wayPublished 9:16am Friday, December 2, 2011
BY GWEN ALBERS/MANAGING EDITOR
BY DALE LIESCH/STAFF WRITER
Western Tidewater’s girls’ high school basketball season is under way. The following is what to expect from local teams.
FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL
Franklin Head Coach Mona Sumblin’s hopes for a seasoned team this year were dashed when veteran players Jazmyn Anthony and Vontisha Redmond transferred to Lakeland and Newport News, respectively, and a starter did not return.
The Lady Broncos also lost seniors Tia Rogers and Victoria Barrett to graduation.
“I was already rebuilding to a degree, losing them really hurt,” Sumblin said.
Returning starters include junior Janesha Hurdle and sophomore Aerial Darden.
“We have a good group coming in with good skills,” Sumblin said. “We just have to teach them the finer points of the game.”
The Lady Broncos finished 4-6 in the Tri-Rivers District last year and earned a berth to the region tournament.
The girls lost their season opener 53-15 to Greensville on Wednesday and today, Dec. 2, will host Northampton. Junior varsity play begins at 5:30 p.m. followed by varsity.
SOUTHAMPTON HIGH SCHOOL
Southampton High School expects a rebuilding year after losing four senior starters from last season’s Southside District championship team, who qualified for the state tournament and lost in the first round.
“It’s a new team,” said Head Coach Aronda Bell, who’s into her 16th year at the helm. “We are rebuilding. We have lost seven seniors, but they’re playing hard and practicing hard.”
Graduating from the 2010-2011 squad, which finished 18-6 and placed second in the AA Region 1 tournament, were Regina Artis, Ronnie Powell, Tenicia Joyner and Latoria Parham. The only returning starter is sophomore TaLisha Jenkins.
In addition to Jenkins, being considered for starters are seniors Kaylee Harris and Kelcee Brown, sophomore Brittney Johnson and junior De’Mone Brickhouse.
WINDSOR HIGH SCHOOL
Chuck Parrish has taken over as head coach for Windsor High School, replacing Holly Andreski, a teacher at Smithfield Middle School.
Parrish is looking at a young team.
“They’re working hard in the gym to get better,” he said.
Parrish said he doesn’t know how many of his players are last year’s returning starters.
“I know each game is a different whole team,” he said.
The Lady Dukes will have two seniors and the majority are sophomores.
Windsor on Thursday night traveled to Isle of Wight Academy for its season opener. Results were not available as of press time.
ISLE OF WIGHT ACADEMY
The Lady Chargers will have to overcome the loss of a key player from last year to improve on their 14-12 record last season.
All Metro-Conference performer Chelsea Edwards graduated, leaving the team in the hands of fellow All Metro-Conference senior center Ally Van Campen, freshman Gabriella Hooper and Amanda Williams.
The three will have to make up for Edwards’ nearly 20 points per game, said Coach Chris Hooper.
“Chelsea was our ball handler and our main scorer,” Hooper said. “This year, we’ll have more of a balance in scoring.”
Hooper has 11 players on the varsity team made up of four freshmen, two sophomores, one junior and four seniors.
“This is the deepest team I’ve had since I’ve been here.” he said. “I’ve got some versatility this year.”
This year’s Lady Raiders have two seniors with varsity experience and will have to overcome a lack of size, said Coach Chris Pope.
“We’re going to play man-to-man and match up as well as we can,” said Pope, whose team was 6-12 season last year.
“I expect us to be better than last year,” he said. “We’ll be able to compete in the (Virginia Commonwealth) Conference.”
This year’s players include seniors Rachel Holland, Beth Waller and Kaylee Laff; and juniors Barclay Gatten, Kate Wachsmann and Whitley Smith. Sophomore Morgan Pope and freshman Sarah Best will split time between junior varsity and varsity due to a lack of numbers on the junior varsity side, Pope said.
With new coach Ashley Owen and a young team, the Lady Warriors look to improve on last year’s 7-13 season.
Tidewater Academy has no seniors on its eight-player roster, but junior Cary Beahm, who has scored 24 points in season opener against Walsingham Academy, looks to score her 1,000th point as early as Monday when the Lady Warriors face Southampton Academy in Wakefield.
The game will take place at 6 p.m.