Girls basketball season opensPublished 12:22pm Saturday, December 7, 2013
COURTLAND—The Western Tidewater academy lady basketball teams, along with Windsor High School, have already begun their seasons, while Southampton High opened up on Friday night.
Southampton Academy has begun its season 2-1; Isle of Wight Academy 2-0; and Windsor 0-1.
The Lady Indians faced Charles City on Friday night, while Franklin will start the season against the Southampton on Monday, Dec. 9.
Tidewater Academy will not have a girls varsity basketball team this season.
The Lady Indians are looking to have a better year, said Coach Aronda Bell.
“We’re looking forward to the season,” she said. “The girls have been working hard, and we’re looking for good things to come from that hard work.”
Out of Friday’s opening match with Charles City, Bell was wanting to see what the team was made of.
“We’re looking to see who is going to gel together,” she said.
“We’re starting two seniors, but a lot of our team is new. We’re looking to see how well they gel in the early games.”
From her seniors, guard Talisha Jenkins and forward Brittney Johnson, Bell’s looking for leadership.
Her other key players are two ninth graders, Jordan Lee, who is a forward/center, and Bryona Knight, a guard. Another key player is sophomore Zakiyla Holden, a guard/forward.
“I’m just looking for them to get some quality time,” Bell said. “I’m looking for them to get experience this year, and step into leadership roles next year.”
While those players are her starters, she said that everyone is important.
“We are a true team,” Bell said. “It is going to take all 15 of them for us to be successful. This is the first time we have kept 15 kids on the roster, and all of them are going to have to work together.”
The Lady Broncos will be starting almost from scratch this year, said Coach Mona Sumblin.
“This is going to be a teaching year for us,” she said. “When I say we are starting from scratch, I only have two returning players from varsity and one from JV. Everybody else is brand new.”
Sumblin said she has all freshmen and sophomores, plus one junior.
Key players will be Latrina Cross, sophomore, Josie Rankin, sophomore, and Jazmine Jordan, freshman.
“They are our captains,” said Sumblin.
She said she didn’t want to say too much about her team, so opponents could not scout in the newspapers.
Windsor lost its opening match Tuesday against Nandua 50-47. The Lady Dukes were scheduled to play Sussex Central on Friday night, according to the school’s calendar.
Coach Jeff Burchette could not be reached for comment by deadline.
Isle of Wight
Coming off a 16-8 campaign, Coach Chris Hooper said he is looking for the team to be better.
“Our top seven players all returned,” he said. “All of my leading scores and main contributors are back. We should have a good year.”
Senior Amanda Williams, point guard, is in her third year playing that position.
“We rely on her for defense, and her ball-handling skills in running the offense,” said Hooper.
Of the wing guard, junior Gabriella Hooper, Chris Hooper said that his daughter is one of his offensive weapons.
“This is her third year starting on varsity,” he said. “She was our leading scorer last year, averaging 16 points a game as a sophomore.”
Junior Carson Saunders is the Lady Charger’s 6-foot tall center.
“She’s matured a lot from last year, which was her first year starting for varsity,” said Hooper.
Junior Brooke Olsavicky, guard, and senior Dianne Davis, forward, round out the starting lineup.
Olsavicky is a perimeter player, and Davis is a threat on defense and on the boards.
Hooper said the Lady Chargers have matured on the court, and that they put in a lot of work during the off season.
“Last year, they were sophomores and juniors, and this year, they are juniors and seniors, which is nice to have,” he said.
The Lady Chargers next play at Amelia Academy (3-0) on Thursday, Dec. 12.
Coach Chris Pope said he has high expectations for the Lady Raiders.
“Looking at the competition on our schedule, and in our conference, we should be pretty competitive,” he said. “We’re looking to improve on last year.”
The Raiders were 12-14 this past season.
Key players include seniors Morgan Pope, Pope’s daughter, and Anna Carr, who are both guards.
“They both have a fair amount of experience,”
Pope said. “Out of my seniors, I’m looking for leadership and points. I think Morgan will be one of our leading scorers.”
Sarah Best, a junior point guard, and Mason Pope, a freshman forward who is Pope’s niece, will be two other key players.
“This is Sarah’s third year playing varsity,” he said. “She was our leading scorer from last year, and I look for her to score some points.
“Mason will score a lot too, especially in man-to-man situations. She’s more of a slasher. She likes to get to the basket and is very athletic.”
Their next game is against Brunswick Academy on Monday, Dec. 9
“Brunswick has been down the last couple of years, but it’s hard to tell,” he said. “It’s a tough place to play, and we seem to never do well there. I’m sure we’ll get a battle, but we’re looking to compete.”