November 13, 2008

Senior-Laden Squad Steering SCR-I Lady Tigers Toward High Expectations

After graduating the teamís leading scorer and undergoing the third coaching change in three seasons, the Scotland County Lady Tigers still can not disguise an air of confidence heading into the 2008-09 season.

Experience is the key factor in how the Lady Tigers have approached the impending season, as six seniors will tip off their final go round when the Novinger Tournament gets underway next week.

Scotland County enters bracket play as the top seed.

Despite losing Kirsten Johnstonís 11 points a night to the college game, SCR-I has to feel good about what it brings back in 2008.

Coach Jaryt Hunziker has a trio of senior post players to rotate in the paint and with the return of senior Deidra Dochterman, who missed her junior season, the first year coach of the Lady Tigers will also have a talented and experienced back court rotation.

The guard position will feature the teamís leading returning scorer, Melissa Cotton. As a junior the sharpshooter averaged 7.8 points a contest and sank a team-best 34 three pointers. Hunziker said he looks for Cotton to expand on her offense, being more aggressive not only from the perimeter but off the dribble to create points for her team.

The return of Dochterman gives the team options at the point guard spot. She ran the Lady Tigers offense as a sophomore and could return to that role in 2008-09 while giving the team another threat from behind the arc.

Fellow senior Betsey Kittle gives the squad another option at the point where she provides energy on both the offensive and defensive end as one of the teamís more scrappy players.

These guard options could free up sophomore Ashley Tague to see minutes at both the guard and forward spots. She moved into the starting lineup midway through her freshman season, predominantly at the point. With the back court depth, Coach Hunziker can now utilize Tagueís size to take advantage of mis-matches in the paint as well as on the perimeter.

The interior will be manned by the three-player rotation of seniors Kelsey Frazier, Kaitlin Caldwell and Valerie Oldham. Oldham averaged 6.2 points and five rebounds per game last year. Frazier was the squadís leading rebounder at 7.2 boards a night while also averaging over four points per game. Caldwell averaged 5.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game and shows a good touch around the basket that could help her pick up some of the scoring slack from Johnstonís graduation.

Sophomores Anna Duley, Jamie Shaw and Skyler Alderton all saw some limited varsity action last season and will provide depth for the team as they continue to develop splitting time between the varsity and junior varsity level.

Freshmen Cali Holt, Loren Smith, Kiley Frazier and Courtney Jackson round out the 14-player roster for Coach Hunziker.

ďWe have some pretty good depth, but we will have to watch our playtime for some of the girls shuttling between varsity and junior varsity, particularly for tournament play,Ē Hunziker said.

The experienced squad has Scotland County setting its sites high for the 2008-09 season.

The Lady Tigers will try to improve on last yearís 9-15 mark that saw them go 3-4 in conference play.

After dominating the league last year, Clark County will have its work cut out for it to repeat as conference champs after graduating league MVP Kassidy Shuman and fellow first team all-league performer Daryl Goldie.

Putnam County may be the early favorite to knock off the Indians.

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