WEST ALEXANDRIA — With three starters and seven returning varsity players, Twin Valley South’s girls’ basketball team is seeking to improve on its record from a year ago.
The Panthers were 4-19 overall and 0-12 in the Cross County Conference last season, but second-year coach Brody Rike is optimistic his team will improve on that mark.
Returning starters for South are Mylan Crews, Kelsie Shafer and Madison Johnson.
Crews, a senior, returns as the leading scorer from last year and will play her fourth season as point guard for the Panthers.
She comes back with the single-game steals record at TVS and will compete for the career steals record at South this year.
Shafer, a senior, returns as the team’s leading rebounder and second leading scorer from last season. She will will be the core of the Panthers inside the paint.
Junior Madison Johnson, another staple in last year’s starting lineup, brings more speed and defense to a quick group of Panthers.
Senior Abby Bingham returns as an outside threat, while Abby Robertson, Evelyn Woodgeard and Taylor Bowers all bring more varsity experience to the roster.
Newcomers to this year’s team include sophomore Alexis Bennett and freshmen McKenzie Neal.
Neal will bring some much needed size on the inside to the Panthers. Maegan Carson, Sidney Mowell and Alyssa Clark will complete the Panthers roster, all are expected to make an impact this season.
“We do feel like we will be putting a much more athletic team on the floor this year,” Rike said. “The strength of this team will definitely be its quickness. With our speed we expect to be solid on defense and hope to use our experience to put a lot more points on the board than last year.”
Rike said his team faces a tough schedule this year.
“The CCC is a large league with teams like Tri-Village, Covington and Miami East that may not only compete for a league title, but district, regional and possibly state accolades as well,” he said. “The CCC and our schedule is full of many teams that we expect to compete well against and we feel that for once in a long time a winning season is within reach.”
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.