Updated Mon, Dec 2, 2013 10:01 pm
With four of five starters coming back from the 2012-13 season and a new focus on offense, the Trimble Lady Tomcats look poised to improve from last year’s fifth place finish in the TVC-Hocking.
Last year’s season ended in a heartbreaking 39-38 loss to Symmes Valley in the Division IV sectional semifinals, ending their season at a mark of 7-16.
Head coach Dave Richards took some lessons from that game that will help improve this year’s Lady Tomcats.
“We learned in that game that we need to be better shooters, and we are working a lot on that and I definitely think it will help us throughout the year,” said Richards.
The good news for the Lady Tomcats is that four starters are returning from last year’s squad and even though 2013 All-TVC-Hocking honoree Demi Moore has graduated, there is no shortage of leadership and talent on this year’s squad.
Coach Richards is looking to junior forward Trista Lackey (returning from an injury) to fill the leadership role.
“[Trista] did not play last year, but I think she can step up and take Demi’s role as the year goes through,” said Richards.
Another junior who will make some noise is 2013 All-TVC-Hocking honoree Tia Altier. The junior plans to be a better shooter and keep her composure during games this season.
Youth and depth seem to be strengths of this squad, as the Lady Tomcats will have only two seniors and four incoming freshman joining the team.
One of the two seniors is guard Emily McKee, who emerged as a playmaker last year. This year, she thinks that the team has great chemistry because of little changes in the starting lineup.
“We all have played together for a few years, even a few freshman have played with us,” said McKee. “We’re pretty close.”
Sophomore center Nikki Kish agrees. “We have a good bond, we are all friends, and that will help us out on the court,” said Kish.
There is one young player that could emerge this year.
Freshman guard Emily Ward looks to be a standout in the crop of freshman. “I think she will play a lot for us,” said Richards. “If our guards get into foul trouble, I think she will be able to step in and help us out.”
Expect the Lady Tomcats to switch from a zone defense to a man-to-man defense this year. Richards thinks that the man-to-man defense will limit their opponent’s opportunities for three-pointers.
Richards wants his team to compete for a top spot in the TVC-Hocking, but sees Waterford and Eastern as the top two challengers. “It will be difficult to beat them,” said Richards.