Hornets Have Eight On Squad
The Hundred Hornet Girls’ Basketball Team has a lot of young talent to go along with a nice assortment of veterans for the 2010-11 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 2,000-point guard Jordyn Gorby and reserve Rachel Ashcraft. But, the Hornets have Raven McDiffitt and Macy Woods returning, both of whom had a double-digit point average per game last season.
McDiffitt has proved that she can play on both sides of the ball. She averaged well over 10 points per game, while hauling in a team-high of more than 200 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.
“Raven is as good as any player around in any classification,” said Hundred Head Girls’ Coach Mike Ray. “She is a great leaper, runs the floor extremely well, has a great first step, and handles the ball with either hand. She is the best all-around girl player to have played at Hundred and can definitely play at the next level.”
Woods is a very good perimeter shooter and can handle the ball well. She can penetrate and is fundamentally sound in all aspects of basketball. “Macy is very level-headed and is working through some pains she suffered during a bad car wreck,” said Ray. “Look for her to have an outstanding senior season.”
However, these two young girls can’t do it all themselves and they do have some other weapons in the Lady Hornets’ nest. Starting sophomores Katie Tennant and Emily Ebert; juniors Cheyenne Myers, Mercedez Goff, and Haley Hayes; and freshman Nichole Cunningham should give Ray a very talented group of eight players that can lead the team in any offensive or defensive strategy.
Tennant is 6’2 and will be the team’s post player. “She needs to become more assertive on the boards to be able to put back any missed shots that come her way,” added Ray.
“Ebert has improved immensely over last season,” Ray continued. “She will play all the perimeter positions and comes to practice every day wanting to learn. Her shooting will get better and she must become more confident on both sides of the ball.”
Hayes and Goff will run the show at point. They can dive, pass, and shoot from outside. Sometimes the Hornets will use McDiffitt and Woods at point. But, for now, Hayes or Goff will be at point. 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,” said Ray.
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 that is improving daily,” added Ray.
“Myers hasn’t played since eighth grade, but she is a good athlete with ability, who is going to help us both offensively as well as defensively,” said Ray.
Cunningham is the only freshman out and looks to give Tennant a spell at the post. “She is a joy to coach and will be able to help us before the season is through,” added Ray.
“If we can stay injury free and progress as we should,” said Ray, “we can have a great year. Raven and Macy are as good as any players around. They 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. Hopefully, they’ll see the five Ds – Desire, Determination, Dedication, Discipline and Defense. If we don’t play with the five Ds, then that’s another story,” added Ray. “I can’t wait for the season to begin to see how the story goes. We are just like every other team. We just want to get better every game.
“If our inside game develops both offensively and defensively we could become very good by year’s end. Year’s end is what it’s 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 can 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 open the season against Cameron at press time Nov. 30 and will host the Paden City Wildcats Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. in the Hornets Nest.