Paden City Girls Looking for Improvement
Paden City Wildcats Girls Basketball Head Coach Alan Miller has the entire team returning from last year’s 6-16 season. Miller is counting on the veterans to help the team improve on that mark and get some respect from opposing teams. Miller is assisted by veteran basketball coach Jamie Natali, who helped guide the Wildcats’ 1987 boys team to an undefeated season and state championship.
While this year’s squad doesn’t stack up to those numbers, expectations are still high for 2018-19. Back for her fourth year as a starter, and nearing the 1,000 point mark for her career, is senior Hannah Loy. Loy made several All-Star teams last season and was mentioned as an All-Stater. At 5’10” Loy is capable of working the boards and scoring down low. She plays the post well, but her best game is in transition.
“She’s a player, there’s no doubt about it. When she wants to score she’s able to go inside, or hit the open jumper. Her aggressiveness gets her to the line quite often, and she’s a very good foul shooter. Her understanding of the game is another of her strong points; she knows you have to work the ball and get others involved,” Coach Miller said.
While Loy will be the go-to person, the Wildcats have ample help in senior Paige Leonard. Paige is also a four-year player and understands the game pretty well. She doesn’t force her game but looks to make things happen as the floor general. When called upon to score she can go to the basket or hit the open jumper. She’s a good passer and plays nice defense.
Madison Knight will return for her senior season and has improved to the point that she can be counted on for rebounds and some baskets. She’s more of a role player who can come in and give some quality minutes.
Probably the fastest player on the floor, for either team, during games will be junior guard Abbe Stackpole; she makes things happen with her quickness and ability to penetrate. Defense is her specialty; she is quick to grab the ball. She averaged around four steals per game last season. Look for her to score a little more this year as her shot has improved, and her ability to get to the basket will send her to the line.
Sophomore Erin McIntyre will be back for her second year. Last season she had some great moments. She has some skill as a shooter and has a knack for getting open. She is a threat to score everytime she touches the ball.
Probably two of the Wildcats’ most underrated players are Skylar and Raven Fulks. Skylar is a junior forward who will go for every loose ball and can hit the jump shot. She also likes to work the boards and get the loose balls. Her role as a scorer and team player go hand in hand, and they make her hard to guard. Sister Raven is also a shooter. Her game is coming along very well, and as a sophomore, she will be more relaxed and should see plenty of playing time. Both girls have excellent attitudes and are very coachable kids.
Others vying for playing time are Gabriel Lewis, a sophomore forward/guard; Madi Kline, a freshman forward; McKenzie Lewis, a junior forward, and Kerri Daugherty, a 6′ freshman who will add a little inside presence for the Wildcats.
“We played hard last season, and with everyone back we feel very good about this team. Hannah and Paige will be our leaders, but we certainly won’t be a one-man show. I hope we can get everyone involved and give them all some experience.
I like what I see. They are good kids who try hard and are willing to learn,” added Coach Miller.
The Wildcats will start their regular season on the home floor on Nov. 27, 6p.m.