|No depth, no problem for Lady Buccaneers basketball|
|Friday, June 8, 2012|
Kari Maddox’ challenge in year No. 2 as the Beech girls’ basketball coach will be much like it was in her first season — do a lot with a little.
The Lady Buccaneers got their summer underway last week with a two-game playday against Page and Station Camp, held another playday on Wednesday against Independence and Hunters Lane and in between attended two days of Lipscomb University’s basketball camp.
All the while, they did it with fewer bodies than they originally thought they were going to have.
Four players expected to be on the team elected to stay with softball. So a small rotation will once again be the norm for Maddox.
“Those girls are great softball players and great girls and they could’ve helped us,” Maddox said. “I’m not mad at them and that’s their focus and if that’s what’s going to take them through school then that’s fine. It’s really had me to kind of adjust what we’re doing. We banked on them giving us minutes and now they’re not here. We went from having a solid eight or nine girls to six.
“We’re going to have a solid six girls. We’re not young anymore. We got that experience. We can’t use that excuse anymore. I told the girls ‘you’ve got to step up and take responsibility for what you do.’”
But Beech and Maddox are coming off a season in which they were no strangers to lack of depth. The Lady Bucs posted a 19-13 record in 2011-12, finished fourth in District 9-AAA regular season, finished third in the postseason tournament and advanced to the Region 5-AAA tournament where the season came to an end with a 45-38 loss to Rossview.
“Now I know more what we can do. Early on I was kind of thrown to the wolves, I guess,” Maddox said of her first year. “I didn’t have any experience and I was going off of the way I played. It’s different as a player and a coach. You have to know more of the Xs and Os as a coach than you did as a player.
“At the end of the season we went on our little run and I think we’re going to build off of that. We’re going to from there and continue to go up.”
Only Alex Banks, now playing basketball at Lipscomb, graduated from last year’s squad. All-district players Falon Baker and McKenna Taylor are back. As are CheyAnn Neal, Bailey Taylor and Shelby Brown.
“Even though we lost one of our best players, Falon and McKenna have improved since last year and CheyAnn, her shot’s gotten 10 times better,” Maddox said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do.
“This is a good group with Shelby in there, that five plays really well together. Falon and Alex had that thing where they knew where each other were at all times and now I think Falon and McKenna have to have that now. Bailey’s stepped up tremendously. She’s run point, she’s in the post and she’s doing all the little things.”
The Lady Bucs are in Chattanooga next weekend for a camp at UTC and close out their summer schedule with a two-day camp at Brentwood High to start the following week.
— Corby A. Yarbrough, Sports Editor
Photo by Corby A. Yarbrough l THE STANDARD