Linsly to face daunting slate


For The Times Leader

WHEELING – The Linsly Lady Cadets enjoyed a memorable 2021-22 hoop season. They advanced to the OVAC 3A championship game while ringing up a sparkling 16-4 record.

Head coach Rebecca Upton lost some prime-time talent from a year ago. Consequently, a repeat performance will be no easy task this winter.

“This season is going to be interesting for us mostly because of the schedule we play. We had to extend outside of the area in order to find games and that will make our season more demanding,” Upton noted. “We have several new players and new roles to fill and I am extremely excited to see who steps up to the challenge.”

Linsly will be facing an acid test in its opener as the Lady Cadets travel to Union Local. The Lady Jets were in the Ohio Division III state tournament a year ago and are loaded once again.

All is not gloom at doom, however, at the Leatherwood campus. Upton has one of the OVAC’s premier guards in Haylen Cook. She is a 5-9 sophomore.

“Haylen is a special player and an even more special person. Her worth ethic is fantastic, her knowledge of the game is excellent and her skill set makes her a tough person to guard as well as a lock down defender,” Upton offered. “She can shoot the ball, handle through pressure, score off the drive and distribute the ball. She is a great asset to us on the court and is an amazing leader and teammate.”

Cook will be joined in the Linsly backcourt by 6-0 junior dandy Rosa Sohlberg.

“Rosa’s skill set is second only to her game knowledge and court smarts. She is a tenacious and physical defender, an aggressive driver and has a beautiful three-point shot. She is a great addition to our program both on and off the court,” Upton said.

Miriam Martinez is a third quality guard for the Lady Cadets. She is a 6-0 junior.

“Miriam’s length and aggressiveness will make her one of our most valuable scorers and defenders. She has guard skills at 6-0 tall and has the rebounding nose of a post player. Her length and ball anticipation on defense make her hard to pass around or shoot over,” Upton said.

Senior leadership will be provided by 5-5 guard Chloe Ratcliffe.

“Chloe is the kind of player every coach dreams about – she is loyal, unselfish and always puts the team first. She has filled a variety of roles on this team over the last four years and I am very excited for the role she will have this season,” Upton beamed. “Her outside shot is consistent and her knowledge of where the ball needs to go comes from her experience on this team.”

Linsly’s inside strength will be delivered by Claire Redd. She is a 5-10 senior.

“Claire is an experienced player who will fit in well to our system. She can shoot well, is strong to the basket and is a tough rebounder,” the former Bethany College head women’s coach noted.

Alayna Cook, a 5-3 junior, is another guard who Upton is counting on for quality varsity minutes.

“Alayna has grown as a player substantially over the last two years. She is feisty, not afraid to battle in the lane and has good outside range. She has quickly developed as a leader on this team and I look for her to flourish in that role,” Upton said.

Four other performers round out Linsly’s varsity roster, topped by senior Roshni Jilte, a 6-0 forward. Jilte is joined by sophomores Reagan Scherich, a 5-8 forward, Jade Purpura, a 5-9 guard, and 5-4 guard Abby White.

Upton boasts nice numbers on this year’s squad with 17 players.

The jayvee squad features 5-6 junior guard Charlotte Peng, 5-9 sophomore forward Heesoo Choi and frosh Avery Reisbeck, a 5-8 forward, Mackenzie Ghaphery, a 5-3 guard, Lourdes Thomas, a 5-5 guard, Baylie Hinebaugh, a 5-6 guard, and Elaina Pusz, 5-2 guard.

Rebekah Martin and R.J. Zitzelsberger are Upton’s assistants.


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