Eastern girls working hard to reclaim SHAC Div. I title –
By Wade Linville –
The Eastern Lady Warriors hit the hardwood this season with high expectations under the leadership of their third-year varsity coach Kevin Pickerill. Pickerill possesses what many local basketball fans would consider a “total package,” a varsity team equipped with size, talent, and experience.
Among the key players on the return for the Lady Warriors are two standouts who all stand at least 6’0″ – junior guard/forward Allison Day and junior forward Mikayla Farris.
Day has already managed to catch the attention of several college scouts after two years of varsity basketball, and this year she will take over a new role on the court as the team’s starting point guard. Day said she is up for the challenge and has been working hard to take over as the team’s point guard.
“Now I actually get to take charge with my voice,” said Day.
Farris joins Day on the court once again, a pair that has played very well together at the varsity level.
“I think the best thing about Allison and I is that we trust each other,” said Farris.
Alexa Pennington is a newcomer to the Eastern girls varsity team, a transfer from West Union High School.
Junior point guard Maggie Fultz is expected to remain on the injured list at least for the early part of the season after injured in an automobile accident.
Another junior who will play a big role in the Lady Warriors’ success on the cour this season is Whitney Broughton.
Haley Fannin and Megan Cox are also taking the court for their junior season with the Lady Warriors.
The Lady Warriors may return a great deal of varsity experience but have only two seniors – Jensen Sowers and Destinie Rose.
The Lady Warriors are also equipped with some other talented underclassmen on the sophomore and freshmen level that includes Morgan Reynolds (soph.), Allison Malott (soph.), Andrea Edmisten (soph.), and Camryn Pickerill (fresh.).
“Expectations have been pretty high,” Kevin Pickerill said of the 2016-17 season. “We’ve kind of keyed on this third year being a big year for us. We’re going to have even higher expectations with Alexa (Pennington) coming in to put more pressure on us to win league, sectional, etc.”
“This group is really special,” Pickerill added. “This group is committed and they want to do it. They’re a good group of kids to coach, and they can’t get enough of the gym.”
Look for this year’s Lady Warriors to once again be equipped with some skilled shooters, and on the defensive end you can expect more zone than what you’ve seen in recent years, according to Pickerill.
Pickerill expects some excellent senior leadership from Sowers and Rose.
The Lady Warriors finished last season with an overall record of 17-7 and would earn a berth in Division III District Tournament play at Waverly High School where they fell to Wheelersburg.
The Lady Warriors finished their 2015-16 regular season as runner-up in the SHAC big school division to the league champion team of Lynchburg-Clay after staking claim to the SHAC Division I title in their first year under the leadership of Pickerill.
The Lady Warriors got off to an excellent start to their 2016-17 season by defeating South Webster (43-36) and Fairfield Local (46-34).