November 15, 2001

Lady Tigers Hoops Team Will Be Dominated By New Faces This Season

Losing four starters from one of the best Scotland County Lady Tigers basketball teams in recent history means there will be some new faces in the SCR-I lineup during the 2001-2002 season.

The bright spot to that scenario is the lone returning starter, junior Meagan Fromm, who narrowly missed out on being selected as a Class 2A Missouri All-State performer last year as she captured Tri-Rivers Conference Most Valuable Player honors.

Coaches around the conference will be waiting for Fromm and the Lady Tigers, meaning several young players will get a chance to step up and make contributions immediately.

Coach Andrea Dabney said four new starters will not be the only difference with this years version of the Lady Tigers. She has installed a new offense and plans to offer several new looks on defense as well.

"We are going to be a totally different type of team this season as we will be guard oriented," Dabney said. "We are going to rely on the play of three new starters on the perimeter as Amy Blomme, Brenna Cook and Jessie Cotton likely will be our starting guards."

Fromm will be making the transition to the power forward spot, after starting last year as the small forward. The move is a necessity as the junior represents the Lady Tigers tallest player.

She will be joined in the post by the team's lone senior, Sara Norton, who Dabney says will give the team a physical presence in the paint.

While Fromm has shifted positions, it doesn't mean she won't get plenty of looks from the perimeter, especially considering she was the team's top three-point threat the past two seasons.

"The way our new offense works Meagan will get plenty of looks both in the paint and from behind the arc," Dabney said. However she added that she expects to see lots of "Box-and-one" defenses and other gimmicks that will double team SCR-I's leading scorer from last season.

Scotland County will be looking to replace some big shoes after losing four-year starters Stephanie Tague, Amanda Musgrove and Morgan Wood as well as three-year starter Dawn Drummond.

The biggest hole will come in the paint where Tague gave SCR-I nearly 16 points a game plus 7 rebounds per contest. The team will also miss the presence of Musgrove who was a top rebounder and led the squad in blocked shots while also averaging six points a game.

Wood and Drummond held down the guard spots and helped keep the opposing defenses honest with scoring from the perimeter. Wood averaged seven points a game while Drummond was always a threat from behind the three-point line.

While the team returns nearly 17 points of scoring a game from Fromm, it definitely will need to find other ways to score.

Blomme provided the most experience at the varsity level. She also likely will be the second option on offense after she showed a willingness to take the open shot last season.

Cotton, a sophomore, likely will take over the reigns of the offense, filling Wood's spot at point guard. That will free up Cook to play an off-guard position. The junior guard likely will fill the team's stopper role on defense, drawing the other team's top perimeter scoring threat.

Norton came off the bench last season to back up Tague, Musgrove and fellow graduate Jeana Brewer. She will need to fill the rebounding void lost with Tague and Musgrove.

Coach Dabney will look to juniors Katie Kittle and Jennifer Crawford as well as sophomore Brandi Mallett to fill in at the forward spots while freshman Valerie Crawford will likely see time in a variety of spots, including guard and forward.

While Scotland County lost three all-conference performers, Clark County will be returning nearly its entire district championship squad in tact making the Lady Indians the consensus pick to repeat as conference and district champions.

The new Lady Tigers will have to pick up the slack if the team is to finish as strong as last season when SCR-I was second in the conference with a 5-2 mark.

Brookfield, Putnam County and North Shelby all tied for third place with 4-3 marks. Along with Knox County, all four teams will press SCR-I to try to move up in the standings.

However the four teams are all in a similar boat with SCR-I after taking big hits with graduation.

Knox County returns the strongest line-up headed by all-conference performers Jennifer Collier and Terri King. North Shelby, Putnam County and Brookfield each lost a first team all-conference performer.

Jordan Rodgers will lead the cast for the Raiders while Lesley Paalhar will head the rebuilding project in Brookfield and Katie Fowler will guide Putnam County.

Milan will try to improve on its 1-6 mark while Katie Roberts will look to get Schuyler County back into its past winning ways after being blanked in league play last year.

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