Prep Hoops Preview: Lady Eagles' season opening win may be prelude of things to come
East Davidson’s girls basketball team opened the 2012-13 season in dominating fashion with a 57-22 blowout of Trinity.
That could very well be a sign of good things to come from a program that finished with a losing record a year ago and ended up fifth in the six-team Central Carolina Conference.
With no seniors on the roster, the Lady Golden Eagles are young. That does not concern head coach Don Corry, who enters his second season on the sidelines.
“We are really excited this year,” he said. “We are young, but I think we are going to be a more cohesive unit. What we want to do is improve every game, every day and just get better than the day before. Last year we lost five or six games by two or three points. If we can get together and win those, we are going to be there. That is what they are really looking forward to doing.”
East lost four players to graduation. Point guard Alyssa Harvell (Pfeiffer University) will be the toughest to replace. She started every game and ran the offense.
Filling her shoes in the backcourt will be junior Lori Morgan and freshman Madi Hallman.
A team captain, Morgan was a slasher on offense last season, getting into the lane for close looks and earning trips to the charity stripe.
“She has gotten a lot better and has worked hard on her game,” said Corry. “She is going to give us some good leadership out on the floor.”
Hallman will be tossed into the fire early to help run Corry’s fast-paced offense. She was a dominating player at Brown Middle School last season.
“She is really showing some good skill out there and is doing a lot of things I like,” said Corry. “She is a good ball handler, shooter, and can do a lot of things.”
Filling in at the guard position off the bench is Miranda Cumpton. A sophomore, Corry says Cumpton is quick and can get after her opponent on the defensive end.
An all-CCC performer as a sophomore, Jennifer Welborn will move out of the post to the wing. That will open up a variety of options for a player who has the ability to take over a game.
“Her outside shot has really gotten better and she can drive, too,” said Corry. “If we get somebody smaller on her we can clear out and let her post up which helps us.”
Sydney Jones and Ariel Grimsley return to help out on the wing. Grimsley has improved defensively and can get on the boards to help with rebounding. Jones is a 3-point specialist who can score in bunches when hot.
The Golden Eagles are extremely young in the frontcourt, but Corry couldn’t help but smile about the size and talent he has on the low block. East is 6-2, 6-1 and 5-11 along the front line.
Sophomore Jordan Isom has the only varsity experience, seeing spot duty as a freshman. Her role will be expanded this season.
“She is rebounding better and her shot selection is good,” said Corry. “She is knocking down 15-18 foot shots in practice and that is exciting.”
Playing beside Isom will be a freshman that has tremendous upside. Bayley Plummer is the tallest member of the team and someone Corry expects to turn some heads this winter.
“Wow! For a freshman she is beyond her years,” he said. “She has good hands, takes it to the basket and can play defense. Bayley is probably the best post player at this time that I have coached in 25 years. There are a couple colleges already looking at her.”
Freshman Caitlin Lookabill will fill in when needed. Corry considers her to be one of the best shooters on the team and expects to get good minutes from her off the bench.
The CCC continues to be one of the top leagues for girls basketball in the state. Finishing better than fifth this season will not be an easy task.
“This conference is tough,” said Corry. “If you do not bring your ‘A’ game every night you are going to go home with a loss. Salisbury is good, Central has a lot back, Thomasville has a great freshman and you cannot count Lexington out. You better bring it.”
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.