DOBSON — The Surry Central girls varsity basketball team returns this season with crafty veteran players and will play its first official home opener game against Forbush on Monday.
“Expectations are very high this season because this is the most experienced team that I have ever had,” said Head Coach Mandy Holt. She characterized the team as diverse, great athletes, hard workers and competitive with most having cross-training in other sports.
“I am very excited about this year’s team,” said Holt.
Holt said the team finished around fifth in the tough Northwest conference last season but will compete with the goal of getting the championship title this season.
The team warms up on today in a scrimmage match against North Davidson at home at 6 p.m.
Courtney Hegler, guard/forward, and Brittany Lewis, center, are two senior anchor starters who will lead and guide at the helm this year along with the other two junior starters, Cassidy Joyner and Sarah Bruce.
The two top scorers of the team are Joyner and Hegler and “they are always leading,” Holt said.
Joyner averaged 14.4 points per game last season, 3.3 assists, 2.2 steals and 3.5 rebounds per game.
“She has a great work ethic, handles the ball well under pressure, continues to bring up her numbers and was an all-conference and all-district player last season,” said Holt.
Last year, Hegler averaged 9.7 points per game, led in rebounds with a 7.5 average per game, averaged 2.5 steals per game and was second in team assists with a 2.7 game average. “She is a well-rounded player that does a little of everything and can make the engine go,” said Holt. Hegler also made honorable mention All-Conference player last year.
Brittany Lewis has played varsity starter for three years, works hard in the off season, and has continued to progress,” said Holt. She will begin her second season as center this year and incorporates excellent hand work into her shots. “She also executes a nice jump shot in her lane,” Holt said.
Sarah Bruce is the third leading scorer on the team and also made All-Conference honorable mention last year. She is capable of playing a multitude of positions including wing or forward. “She is scrappy and a great hustler,” said Holt. Bruce is also the best post defender on the team.
There will be several others competing for starting positions who return from last year, Holt said.
Tess Dockery listed at the guard position is a hustler and a defender, said Holt. Brook Lewis listed at the guard/forward position is a multiple position player and the kind to do a whole lot of little things that add up to big key plays, said Holt. “She can be counted on to do what the team needs and knows how to pick things up,” Holt added.
Marlee Wilmoth listed at the guard position brings excitement to the team with her ability to hustle and score. “She is a team motivator both in season and off,” Holt said.
Still more come with this package. Holt said three key players move up to varsity this year from JV. They are Kristin Key, post-defender, Kendra Johnson, pointguard, and Makayla Cox, post-player. “I am very happy with this group,” Holt said.
The talent that comes with the team this year is wonderful, but that is not all there is to winning basketball, Holt said. “With talent must come determination, focus and very importantly doing the little things that others are not willing to do. For example, the importance of going after a loose ball. These may not show up on stat sheets but they are key ingredients to winning,” Holt said.
She further talked about the heart of last year’s team and how the returners along with the experience and more talent make the dream of championship possible this year.
“Basketball is my passion and I want to bring back championship to Surry Central and that is our goal,” said Holt.
This is Holt’s 11th year of coaching basketball at Surry Central and she is assisted by Lauren Redman and Stephanie Miller.
Reach Tanya Chilton at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1921.