Hornets Will Try To Mesh Youth With Experience
The Hundred Hornet Girls’ Basketball Team has a lot of young talent to go along with a nice assortment of veterans to work with for the 2009-10 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 three-point specialist, Chelesa Kuhn, who was lost to graduation, along with do-it-all Nancy Cumberledge; Tayla Simpson, and two reserves, JoDanna Simpson and Tara Koontz.
But, the Hornets have the experienced Jordyn Gorby and Raven McDiffitt returning, both of whom had a double-digit point average per game last season.
Gorby was the valley’s leading scorer with 351 points, for a 17.5 points per game average. She also added 22 baskets from beyond the arc and swiped the basketball 68 times, while hauling in 85 rebounds at point guard. She earned All Mason-Dixon Conference Honors and was named Special Mention All-State, while earning first-team honors on the Wetzel County All-Star Team.
McDiffitt has proved that she can play on both sides of the ball. She averaged well over 10 points a game, while hauling in a team-high 214 rebounds. She also had 43 steals and dished off 53 assists, while guarding the opposing teams’ best offensive players. She made All Mason-Dixon Second Team and was tabbed Honorable Mention All State, and earned first team All Wetzel County.
However, these young girls can’t do it all themselves and they do have some other weapons in the Lady Hornets’ nest. Lindsay Burley and Macy Woods give veteran Head Coach Mike Ray a very talented group of seven players that can lead the team in any offensive or defensive strategy.
Gorby is the point guard who runs the show. She can dive, pass, and shoot from outside. And, even after a reinjury to her leg last season, she can take it to the hole without any fear. She also plays shooting guard and has the skill to play strong forward, as well. McDiffitt, only a junior, plays like a senior with confidence. If she can stay away from the cheap fouls, teams better watch out. She has excellent ball skills and can finish off the break.
At the forward positions are Macy Woods and Shayna Tedrow. They are both quite the player, can shoot the ball from anywhere on the court and can bust up a zone like no other. Besides playing forward, Woods can and has played the point guard. She has good vision on the court and won’t back down from anyone. Tedrow played a lot of junior varsity ball last year and will be a major contributor for the Lady Hornets this season.
At center, Lindsay Burley gets the nod. She can rebound and is quite a shot blocker. Burley, as well as the entire team, has worked very hard this fall in the weight room getting in condition and the benefits are showing on all the players.
Other key personnel on the team are Taylor Lind and Haley Hayes. Lind played jayvee ball last year and seems comfortable on the floor. She can play multiple positions and is improving daily. Coach Ray believes that her 5’11 frame and her work ethic will play a pivotal role during the season. Hayes ran the show for the junior varsity team last season and will most likely come off the bench and spell Gorby, Woods, and Tedrow.
The other varsity contributors are Rachel Ashcraft, Katie Tennant, Emily Ebert, Oshana Topp, and Katelyn Blair. Ashcraft is a senior and is coming off a knee operation. When she is up to the task, she will give the team leadership and another inside presence. She also is a nice outside shooter.
Tennant is a freshman, but her 6’1″ presence will give Hundred another weapon. She can spell Burley at center or go on the floor at another slot where her height can be advantageous for Hundred and intimidating for opponents.
“If we can stay injury free and progress as we should,” said Ray, “we can have a great year. Jordyn, Raven, and Macy are as good as any players around. They have to lead us until the rest of the team gains needed experience,” said Ray.
“If our inside game develops both offensively and defensively we could become very good by year’s end. Year’s end is what its all about. That’s what we are shooting for. It’s about being players and not being pretenders. Top to bottom, we have some talent, once the younger players start playing instead of having to think what to do. With game experience, they will learn to defend and 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.”
Ray added, “You win games when you don’t have the ball. If the girls can get down and shuffle their feet and play good defense, we can be quite special. I’m 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.”
Helping Ray coach the Hornets once again is veteran assistant coach Terry Metz.
The Hornets opened the season at Cameron Dec. 1 and will host Morgantown Trinity Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Hornets Nest.