The Buffalo girls are in a great position to have success in the new Ozark Mountain Conference this season with their top three scorers from last season returning.
Senior Courtney Austin leads that group after earning first-team all-conference honors last season. She averaged 18.9 points, 3.4 assists and 3.3 steals per game.
“Courtney is one of those players who has grown up with a basketball in her hands. She is very knowledgeable about the game of basketball. She has set high goals for herself and is capable of achieving anything she sets out to don on the basketball floor,” Buffalo head coach Tom Stokes said. “She has already committed to Evangel so now she can just go out and have fun and play without the pressure of trying to decide where to play beyond high school.”
Fellow senior Emily Rice will provide some strong outside shooting after earning second-team all-conference honors last season. Rice scored 10 points per game with 4.9 rebounds. She knocked down 58 three pointers last season.
“Emily is one of the best three-point shooters in the area. Along with her scoring ability, she really helped us on the boards last year,” Stokes said. “She, along with Courtney, has started every game in her high school career. I think that experience will help her have a very successful senior season.”
Junior Bethany Lancaster led the team in rebounds (7.1 rpg) and was second in scoring (10.4 ppg).
“Bethany worked hard during the summer to improve her overall game. She has good instincts when it comes to hitting the boards. She has the ability to score more than she has in the past. I look for her to have a breakout season this year,” Stokes said.
Seniors Maddie Jacobs and Allie Maddux along with juniors Madison Andrews and Jaylen Cody. Jacobs brings rebounding and shooting to the floor. Maddux is a strong defender. Andrews has an aggressive style and showed a lot of offseason improvement according to Stokes. Cody will see an expanded role this year after a strong summer.
Sophomore Bella Lang along with freshmen Bella Young, Journey Edgington, Audrey Vest, Darby Armstrong, and Cheyann Kenady will anchor the junior varsity and see varsity time.
“We are excited about the upcoming season. The girls really showed a lot of passion for the game this summer and also improved in every area of the game. We will have to play hard every night and give it our all,” Stokes said. “We have a challenging schedule and some very tough tournaments so we know we will have to give it our all. The new conference makes it even that much more exciting. Every girls team in our conference will have a shot at winning each night.”
Buffalo opens the season Nov. 26-30 in the Fair Grove Tournament.