November 17, 2005

Lady Tigers Hungry For Bigger Things In 2005

It’s difficult to argue that a 16-11 season is disappointing, but the Scotland County Lady Tigers basketball team would like nothing better than to get rid of the bad taste left in their mouths courtesy of a 58-40 upset in the district semi-finals to end last season.

SCR-I appears to have the talent returning to do just that, as the Lady Tigers bring back plenty of experience and can’t help but get excited about a strong group of young players that are moving up the ranks.

Senior Ali Fromm leads the returning cast. The Lady Tigers’ shooting guard earned all-state honors in her junior after leading Scotland County with a 20.5 scoring average, going over the 1,000 point career mark early last year.

Joining Fromm in the backcourt will be fellow senior Ashlee Frederick, who will be in her third season as the starting point guard for the Lady Tigers.

SCR-I brings back a third starter from the talented senior class in Angie Bulen. She led the team in rebounding and will be asked to be a key contributor again in 05-06 as the team will be without Bulen’s counterpart in the post, Brittney Courtright. Courtright is out for the season after she re-aggravated a foot injury that cost her most of the 04-05 season.

Courtright’s loss means that the team will likely utilize a lot of three- and four-guard sets. That may ultimately play right into the Lady Tigers hand, as the team appears to be stacked at that position.

“We will look to push the ball up the court on offense and I plan to press on defense a lot,” Swearingen said. “Quickness is one strength I believe we definitely have on our side so we want to take advantage of our athletes.”

The team’s fourth senior, Jamie Fuller came off the bench last year at the guard and forward positions and was the team’s second leading scorer. She earned second-team all-conference honors and will look to build on that performance as a starter in 2005.

“Jamie is very athletic, so she’s going to be playing all over the court for us and likely will see plenty of time at the four spot,” said Coach Swearingen.

Junior Trisha Harvey likely will see time in Fuller’s old swing position, being able to play either guard or forward for Coach Swearingen.

Sophomores Jessica Bair and Kirsten Johnston moved up to the varsity level, late in their freshmen seasons, and both look poised to be key contributors for the team this year.

Swearingen said that Bair has the inside track to be the fifth starter as she, like Fuller, will be playing both post and perimeter positions.

Fellow sophomore Kaela Cook also saw varsity time last year and she will be looked upon this year to provide crucial depth at both post positions.

Sophomores Melissa Cotton, Amanda Bogatzke and Kellyn Wickert will round out the 11-player varsity roster Coach Swearingen will begin the season with.

The Tigers said goodbye to six seniors, Valerie Crawford, Rebecca Consbrock, Kayla Ebeling, Jacqui Drummond, Lelsie Duley and Ashley Ellison, after the 2004-05 season.

Consbrock and Crawford were starters, and Coach Swearingen will have to look tothe underclassmen to fill their big shoes in hopes of improving on the team’s 16-11 mark.

Unfortunately for SCR-I, they are not the only team bringing back a talented group for the 05-06 season as four of the league’s five best players (according to the coachs’ post-season honors) will return this year.

Tri-Rivers Conference champion Clark County is the pre-season pick to repeat, considering the squad basically returns its entire starting group led by league MVP Courtney Schuman and fellow all-league performers Lisa Weaver, Ashley Wallingford and Brady Logsdon.

Putnam County will have to replace Brook Shultz and Haley Montgomery and will look to sophomore Brittany Casady to shoulder much of that load.

Schuyler County will be in similar shoes as sophomore Tahnee Poe will look to build on her first-team all-conference numbers in 2004-05 as a freshman.

Trisha Bohle will lead Milan in its efforts to return to a district title game. Whitney Schnelle and Sam Shaw make the Wildcats one of the favorites to make it to that big game.

Stephanie Hicks will do her best to get Knox County into that title match as well, as the senior center will return to lead the Lady Eagles.

Joining SCR-I, Milan, Schuyler and Knox in the Class 2 District 5 will be Canton, Princeton and LaPlata.

Allison Peoples and Randi Willey will lead North Shelby in 2005. Brookfield is the lone league team that is not returning a single all-conference performer.

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