Lady Pilots Return Seven Lettermen
The River Pilots were only a couple baskets from playing for the OVAC Class 2A title last season, finishing third. They return the bulk of their roster, losing only Bailey Caldwell to graduation.
With seven letter-winners back, you would think River Head Coach Rick Isaly would be tickled to death in what he has back. However, a few players didn’t come out that would have helped coming off the bench.
“You play with the hand your dealt with,” said Isaly. “We are an injury away from being just an average team.”
Return starter Carsyn Reynolds is a polished sophomore. She has had some injuries to her knee in the past several years, and if she goes down, the Pilots chances are not as good without her presence, on offense as well her rebounding and shot blocking skills.
But the team still has some weapons both offensively as well as defensively.
Starting with its leading scorer and assist leader Lauren Flannery, River can’t get too much better. Flannery runs the floor well and dishes off just as effective. She runs the show well and can stop and pop it anywhere on the floor.
She gets to the line a lot and is a very good free throw shooter as well as a medium to long distance polished shooter. Flannery can do it all as her defensive presence is top notch as she also led the team in steals as well as assists. She is an excellent rebounder as well.
Besides the post where Long is at, Candace Caldwell is a good rebounder as well, with a little swag in her walk as she also can hit the jumper as well as any other player on the team. Isaly has three more gems on the team, as Alli Long, Riley Lollathin and Livi Rose can hit the long ball as well as make opposing teams crazy with their in-your-face defense.
Long, can also do it from around the paint as well as from long range, and with her versatility can play in any scheme that Coach Isaly will put out their for his team to play.
The Pilots also have returning lettermen Brianna Cornstock that played a good deal also for the Lady Pilots. Also, sophomore Carmen Hinerman can help the team some when she is cleared from a concussion. Freshmen Adrianna Karpacs-Brown and Jonayah Moeller, might see some playing time on the varsity as well.
Rounding out the team are frosh Mikenzie Cieszeski, Hannah Straub, Kimberly Conners, Emily Smith, Sofie Myers, Lindsay Huffman and Elizabeth McConn.
“We only had 11 out last season, and we lost one starter to graduation in Bailey Caldwell, and we returned seven of those 11, and picked up nine freshmen,” added Isaly. “We didn’t have a full junior varsity team last season, but with all these new freshmen out we will start building our program back up in numbers.”
“I like our chances. The girls are working really hard and our taking everything I give them, and I’m excited about that.”
Helping Isaly again this season is Assistant Coach Dean Caldwell, and Jay Haines.
Just like most small schools, you worry about losing a starter to injuries, and if Isaly can keep his top seven from getting hurt, their chances to repeat their OVAC performance once more, and even further.
The Lady Pilots open their season against Monroe Central in their home opener Nov. 25, with the junior varsity tip-off scheduled for 6 p.m.