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Girls BB Preview: Lady Knights return eight

By Staff | Dec 1, 2010

If things go as planned, the Tyler Consolidated Lady Knight varsity basketball team will be getting ready to play in Charleston in two months time. “That is our goal,” said third year head coach Matt Kinnard. “That’s always our goal, and yes, we have the team that can do it.”

Kinnard speaks of the 15 young ladies participating on the team this season that have been working hard, preparing for upcoming competition the 2010/11 season will bring.

Eight returning letter winners will return to the squad including seniors Lynsey Casteel (5’11”) and Heather Suter (5’10”).

“These two are the strength and leaders of our team,” Kinnard said. “They know our game plan and want to win. Lynsey returns as our leading rebounder and Heather as the leading scorer. These are two strong players who we will rely on heavily throughout the year.” Maddi Schlabowski (5’9″), a senior, will also play an important role for the Lady Knights.

Juniors returning to the line-up are Sami Jones (5’8″); Keri Suter (5’7″); Tiffany Kernan (5’9″); and Whitney Williams (5’8″). Sophomores include: Allison Wable (5’8″); Torrye Cline (5’7″); and Courtney Daugherty (6′).

Four new freshmen join the Lady Knight ranks, Sophie Kinnard (5’11”); Hillary Casteel (5’7″); Megan Carpenter (5’8″) and Sydney Reed (5’8″), each of whom will get a chance to show their skills on the court.

Coach Kinnard, assistant coach Cathy Boggs and the Lady Knights are all anxious to shake off the disappointments of the past two years and move on with a successful season this time around.

With only eight wins to boast of in the past two years, Kinnard feels the team has paid their dues and are ready to do good things this season.

“Two years ago we struggled and were getting beat by 30 points a game,” he said. “Last year, we were getting beat, but we were in every game we played. This year, we’re looking to not only be in every game, but win some games as well.”

“Our strengths are our experience at

key positions, our much improved ball handling skills, and our learned ability of not panicking in game situations. The girls have meshed into more of team than we have in the past, our communication skills, especially on defense, have greatly improved and that’s going to make a difference this year.”

As for weaknesses, Kinnard says a lack of confidence is still present in his players but this aspect of the game is something they are working on. “You know, these girls have worked very hard,” he said. “They worked hard in the summer, played summer league, some have played on traveling teams, and they’re working hard in practice now. They can be successful, they have it in them. I know they can do it, now we’re at the point where they have to know they can do it.”

Not willing to trim his team down to five and only five main starters, Kinnard said the game plan for this year calls for several starting as well as playing scenarios.

“Against some teams we’re going to need to be quick on defense, against others we’re going to have to run an offense where we can score early. The team we’re facing on any given day and how they play will determine how and who we play. For each game situation we’ll depend on the strength of different players. I also count our ability to do this as a strength of our team this year.”

The Lady Knights will begin their search for success on Dec. 2 when they host St. Marys.