Lady Hornets Buzz About The Season
The Hundred Hornet Girls’ Basketball Team has a pair of new coaches roaming the sidelines after the retirement of veteran Head Coach Mike Ray. The new head coach is Jeremy Kelch and his assistant is Shannon Bartrug Church, a former four-year starter for the Lady Hornets. They will have a lot of young talent to go along with a nice assortment of veterans for the 2011-12 season that could catapult them to the top of the Mason-Dixon Conference, as well as the OVAC in Class A.
Hundred is without last season’s career 1,000-point guard Raven McDiffitt and Macy Woods. McDiffitt led the Lady Hornets in scoring, assists, and steals, while being second in rebounding and blocked shots. Woods was injured for most of last season, which gave the Hornets a chance to give a lot of playing time to its underclassmen.
Even with the loss of the duo, they do have some other weapons in the Lady Hornets’ nest. Starting with returning senior lettermen Cheyenne Myers, Mercedez Goff, and Haley Hayes; juniors Katie “The Beast” Tennant and Emily Ebert; and sophomore Nichole Cunningham should give Kelch and Church a very talented group of players that can lead the team in any offensive or defensive strategy.
In addition to these girls, Kelch and Church will have senior Shayna Tedrow, junior Oshanna Topp, sophomores Lindsay Jones and Tameka Kernen, and freshmen Paige Shriver, Dakota Kuhn, Elaire Topp, and Erika Hunter. Allie Hayes will be in her first year as manager. With 14 girls out this season, the Lady Hornets will have enough girls to have a junior varsity team.
Tennant, at 6’2″, gets her nickname “The Beast” quite honestly. As the team’s post player, she led the Lady Hornets in rebounding and blocking shots a season ago and was the team’s second leading scorer behind McDiffitt.
“Tennant will become more assertive on the boards this season and be looking to post up and do a lot more scoring in the paint,” said Church. Church was the team’s top rebounder and shot blocker when she played for Ray and will be able to show Tennant the importance of her game and what affect it will have in the success of the Lady Hornets’ season.
“Ebert is 5’8″ and has improved immensely on her game over last season,” Kelch said. “She will play all the perimeter positions and come to practice every day wanting to learn and learn. Her shooting is getting better, but she must become more confident on both sides of the ball.”
Goff and Hayes, the team captain, will run the show at point. They can dive, pass, and shoot from outside. Goff is a good defender with some quickness. She can get her shot off fast and is a better-than-average shooter. “Goff can play many positions to take advantage of her strengths. She defends well on the ball, and she will only get better as the season goes on.”
Continuing, Kelch noted that Hayes “plays much bigger than she is. She handles the rock well and doesn’t make many mistakes, offensively. She can play any perimeter position and is a better-than-average shooter. Haley has great court vision and is a very heady player who is improving daily.
“Myers, at 5’6″, is a good athlete with ability. She is going to help us both offensively as well as defensively,” said Kelch. “She is a player and is working, working me into getting in shape too.” Tedrow is 5’8″ and will play both forward and center. She will help out on the boards and also give some leadership to the team. The 5’4″ Oshanna Topp will spell Hayes and Goff at guards.
Cunningham, 5’6″, played last season and has worked very hard on her game. She will help out Tennant, Tedrow, and Myers on the boards.
New to the game are sophomores Jones and Kernen, along with freshmen Shriver, Kuhn Hunter, and Elaire Topp. These girls will all play guard and each can play defense.
“If we can stay injury free and can keep Tennant out of foul trouble, we can have a great year,” Kelch predicted. “Hayes and Goff are good players that will lead by example. They will have to lead us until the rest of the team gains needed experience.
“It all starts on defense and once we get a few games under our belts, I believe the girls will enjoy the way we are wanting them to play this season,” he continued. “Hopefully, they’ll see the five Ds – Desire, Determination, Dedication, Discipline, and Defense that Coach Ray used in his 30-some years as coach. If we don’t play with the five Ds, then that’s another story.”
Kelch observed that if the Lady Hornet inside game develops both offensively and defensively, “We could become very good by year’s end. From top to bottom, we have a lot of talent, and once the younger players start to get that game experience, they will be able to defend and pick up the entire offensive system. I can show them how to play, but they have to do it. They have to step up, not back, and get better each day.”
Kelch and Church added, “You can win games when you don’t have the ball. If our girls can get down and shuffle their feet and play good defense, we can be quite special. We are tickled the way the girls are going at this season on their own and how committed they are into making this team a very good one.”
The Lady Hornets will open the 2011-12 season at Cameron Nov. 29 and play in the Bob and Sharon Burton Holiday Tournament at Paden City on Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. against Clay-Battelle.