Barnesville girls looking to rely on speed, size

Photo Provided PICTURED IS the 2020-21 Barnesville girls basketball team. Front row, from left, are Alyssa Carter, Kendal Lucas, Blayne Carpenter and Lilly Ford. Standing, from left, are Breanna Meade, Kortnie Luyster, Rylee Stephens, Anna Yater, Halle Markovich, Kinzie Kaplet and Rilee Lucas.

BARNESVILLE – The Barnesville Lady Shamrocks enter the 2020-21 season coming off of a year that saw the Green-and-Red finish 10-13 before bowing out to Cambridge in the postseason, however overall one positive for the overachieving ‘Rocks was that they were within a few points of flipping their record to 13-10. While Barnesville lost five seniors to graduation, including two starters, things are looking promising for coach Jason Perkins’ charges.

Graduation losses included: Reagan Hanlon, Jaiden Butler. Cassie Steele, Aleah Day and Dani Meyers.

There are 19 players out this season.

When discussing his starting rotation, Coach Perkins pointed out something a little bit different that the Shamrocks are discussing this season, “This year I am telling the girls that we basically have a starting seven, I have seven possible starters depending on what we choose to do. If we want a fast-paced game we can start five guards, if we want some size we can rotate two bigger girls in. It will depend on our game plan for the night, but we have a starting seven basically.”

Spearheading those starters is senior Rylee Stephens, who is a four-year starter who garnered All-District 12 first team, All OVAC and All-Times Leader honors last year. Fellow senior Kenzie Kaplet will also figure into the first-five most nights.

Junior Anna Yater, who is 6-2 and 6-1 sophomore Halle Markovich, who was an honorable mention for All-OVAC, will also look to start at times, giving the Lady Rocks a formidable front court. Sophomore guards Blayne Carpenter, Alyssa Carter and Lilly Ford round out the potential starters for the western Belmont County squad.

Junior Kendall Lucas leads a number of players who will be seeking varsity time.

“Kendall is tremendous on the defensive end, a hustler, and is on the ball after every loose ball,” Perkins noted.

Sophomore Riley Lucas, will play into the mix as well.

Junior Brianna Meade also figured to get minutes, but she is currently out with a broken hand. Senior Kortnie Luyster and freshmen Jayden Thornton (6-3) and Ellie Thompson will also be working for time on the floor.

The remainder of the Lady Shamrocks roster is comprised of sophomores Emma Pack, and Rilee Lucas as well as freshmen Lilly Kinney, Ava McFarland, Madelyn Schaffer, Ayla Yater and Lena Hines.

Perkins is no stranger to the struggles that coaches are seeing in the COVID affected season.

“We got to practice about a week and a half and had three scrimmages and we looked good. We had things we needed to work on, but we looked good in the scrimmages. We obviously have room for improvement, but we haven’t been in the gym for two weeks,” Perkins observed.

That said, Perkins is not one to make excuses and he had complimentary words of his team. “They go hard and are unselfish in how they play. Riley is our best outside shooter and Hallie has improved greatly on the offensive end of the floor. She is probably our best overall scorer, but we are not looking for one or two to do all of the scoring.” He continued; “Anna Yater has worked hard over the summer and has really improved.

Perkins will be assisted by Ty Leach, who will also coach the JV.


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