Editor’s Note: This is one in a series of previews of area high school girls basketball teams.
No seniors, no problem.
The Lincoln County girls don’t have a single senior on their roster, but they still have every reason to believe they can be among the teams contending for the 12th Region championship.
The Patriots already have a fair amount of experience, and coach Cassandra McWhorter said they’ll benefit from even more.
“We’ve got some that got their first real taste of experience last year, and I think as the season continues they’ll gain more and more,” said McWhorter, who enters her second season as Lincoln’s coach.
Lincoln, which was 22-7 last season, is led by a large group of juniors who have had success all the way through the system — they lost only one game in middle school — and McWhorter said they are ready to lead.
“Not that they didn’t like playing with (graduated starters) Korey (Coleman) and Morgan (Reed) last year, but I think they’re excited to get back to that core that they had, and I think they’re really looking forward to it being them on the floor,” she said.
“Those juniors are kind of owning up to, ‘We’ve got to step up, we’ve got to be the leaders,’ and so far they’re doing a good job of it.”
Two of them, guard Emily Fox and forward Sydney Harris, made the All-Area first team last year after averaging a combined 38 points and 17 rebounds per game.
Fox will again be the primary ball-handler, while Harris is the tallest player on the team but isn’t exactly a post player.
“(They) have stepped up to be a little more vocal leaders, and they’re just surrounded by great girls around them. They’re kind of just all doing it together, which really goes along with our motto, ‘It’s all about the family, not me,’” McWhorter said.
Sophomore guard Rachel Spangler also returns to the lineup and, like Fox, is capable of playing either guard position. Juniors Ciara Saylor and Kourtney Belcher might fill the open lineup spots.
McWhorter plans to dress only 10 players for the time being, but she also plans to get the most out of all of them.
“We’re 10 deep,” she said. “At any time we could put any of them in.”