LEWISBURG — The Tri-County North girls basketball team only won three games a season ago – winning each of those contest by a one-point margin. But in her second year with the program, Jessica Cherry is determined to keep building upon that foundation.
“We are definitely looking for more wins to add to our record along with continuing to build the program as a whole,” she said. “We want to get more kids interested in the program and to come out and play. We are working both on and off the court with the community to get the girls basketball program out there.”
The team still remains very young though, and the Panthers have to continue to build their skillset in order to be successful. The team lost four starting seniors from last year though, so they certainly have their work cut out.
“I am looking to gain a new strong lineup along with looking to replace one of our top shooting guards from last season,” said Cherry. “We are a guard heavy team. We are a smaller team but we have speed that will definitely help in the front line of our defense along with getting the ball up the court.”
And while they may still be young by comparison, their roster does return five varsity players from last season – but only one senior in Tiarra Alford, who will actually be changing roles this season.
“She is coming from a shooting guard last year more into a role as the taller player inside – as a post. She drives the ball well and brings down rebounds. She will be a big asset inside for us,” said Cherry.
They also bring back juniors Sara Harris and Chelsey Strawser along with sophomores Cassi Stinson and Makayla Toohey.
Stinson was the team’s second leading scorer last year and is expected to continue her contribution as a solid perimeter shooter while Harris will be relied on as the premier three-point shooter for the Panthers. Strawser will also play a vital role in the guard position this season.
Junior Addison Pahl and Mady Prater – who player were junior varsity players last year – also bring some high school experience to the young Panther roster, while newcomers Preston Lipinski, Riley Cruse, and Shyanna Baker are all new (and all freshmen) to the program.
They tip off their season at home against Northridge on Friday, Nov. 20 before playing Carlisle – also at home – on Saturday, Nov. 21.
Jeremy can be reached at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.