PILOT MOUNTAIN — The East Surry girls varsity basketball team will open its regular season on Tuesday at home against Ashe County ready to compete.
Until then every practice is played as if it were the real thing, said Cardinal Head Coach Keith Gunter.
The Cardinals finished last season with an 11-13 record overall. The team’s youth factored in among a very tough Northwest 1A/2A conference and overall he was satisfied with their performance, he said.
“If my team plays as hard as they can, don’t back down, give their best effort and play intelligent,” then the losses do matter as much, Gunter said.
This year, the Cardinals return with seasoned experience and “I will use this to our advantage,” said Gunter.
Five of the nine players on the Cardinal roster are sophomores, two are seniors, one is a freshman, and there is one junior.
“Sophomore Sydney Mosley is one of the most gifted athletes in the conference,” Gunter said.
He added that he will be looking to his two very talented seniors, Keri Fulp and Lauren Thompson, for leadership among a young, but competitive team.
Senior Keri Fulp signs a letter of intent with Wake Forest University to play basketball today in the high school library. Fulp was recently voted most valuable player in the conference in volleyball.
Senior and pointguard Lauren Thompson will return as a third-year starter and will enforce that everyone plays in the right place by containment and is expected to play tough defense, the coach said.
“Basketball is about more than running plays, it is also about making plays.”
Gunter said that he is ready to use everyone on his team and said last night was one of the best practices so far.
Over half of the Cardinal girls are cross-trained athletes and have excelled both in volleyball and tennis.
“They are very competitive, and I expect all nine to contribute,” Gunter said.
Emma Slater will play guard, Gabbi Jessup will play guard/forward, Sydney Mosley will play guard/forward, Lauren Thompson will play guard, Keri Fulp will play forward, Karli Fulp will play forward, Sydney Marion will play forward, Laken Bowman will play guard, and Kacie Markle will play forward/center.
Reach Tanya Chilton at email@example.com or at 719-1921.