The El Dorado Springs girls will be looking to bounce back from a 10-16 season, but will have to do so without the services of the graduated Paige Ersy who led the Lady Bulldogs in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals last season.
“We will definitely miss her scoring and rebounding, but her ability to handle the ball and lead the team will be tough to replace,” El Dorado Springs head coach Beau Swopes said. “She did so much for us last year and led us in almost every category. It will take a team effort to replace what she did for us.”
Taylor Robison will look to expand her scoring after averaging 9 points per game last season.
“We will continue to look for her on the outside, but she did a really good job of attacking the basket this summer,” Swopes said. “We expect her to be one of our top scorers and really pick it up on the defensive side of the ball.”
Seniors Brittany Stevens and Tori Rawlings along with sophomore Kraysen Leonard are returning players that will have an impact this year. Stevens averaged 6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game last year. Leonard saw time in 21 games last season.
A deep group of underclassmen will help the Lady Bulldogs. That group includes sophomore Tristyn Marshall and freshmen Reese Schaaf, Tevi Gurley and Dani Ogle.
“We should be a better offensive team this year, we have a lot of different ways to score and we shouldn’t have to rely on one person to carry the scoring load for us,” Swopes said. “We have to do a better job defensively of keeping teams out of the paint and finishing defensive possessions. We will be very young so we’ll need to keep our turnovers as low as possible.”
In addition to several new players, the Lady Bulldogs will also have a new conference after years as an independent. El Dorado Springs will join the Ozark Mountain Conference this season.
“It will be something very new for all of us,” Swopes said. “I think it will give us something to play for every night and allow us to build some rivalry games with teams that are outside of a 30-minute radius.”
The Lady Bulldogs will experience some growing pains in the early going, but the group should come together with reps on the court.
“The beginning of the season will be a challenge for us as we learn to play together, but I think we should be very competitive with our schedule,” Swopes said. “We are going to be young, but I think we have some underclassman that will make an impact for us from the start.”
El Dorado Springs opens the season on Nov. 20 at home against Adrian.