By Kai Raymer (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Winning 19 games, a district championship and reaching the state quarterfinals is a great season for any program.
For perennial Class 2 contender Skyline, it was also a slight step below the norm.
Skyline finished 19-11 overall last season. The Lady Tigers’ 56-55 loss to Mid-Buchanan in the Class 2 quarterfinals ended a streak of six consecutive final four appearances for the Hickory County school.
As Skyline begins a new season, veteran coach Kevin Cheek likes the look of his returning roster. Skyline returns all but two players from last season’s squad.
“This group of girls have a work ethic that rivals the groups that came in front of them,” Cheek said. “I really like our team chemistry and overall makeup.”
Skyline features sophomore and all-conference guard Miranda Quennoz. The 5’6” Quennoz started all 30 games as a freshman and is Skyline’s top returning scorer (10.6 points per game).
“We’re really looking forward to see what her sophomore season will bring,” Cheek said.
Allison Nothnagel, a 5’10” forward, is Skyline’s lone senior. She saw action in 23 varsity games last season.
“She will be a great senior leader for us,” Cheek said. “She’s willing to do whatever it takes to make her team better.”
Skyline’s returning juniors are Emma Crawford, Riley Conly and Abby Nothnagel.
Crawford averaged 4.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game last season.
“She had a great summer and we’re eager to see what she’ll do this season,” Cheek said.
Conly brings energy to the team and Abby Nothnagel – the younger sister of Allison – is a capable shooter, Cheek said.
“(Conly) is a defense-first type of player,” Cheek said. “(Abby) shoots well and always seems to be in the right spot.”
Along with Quennoz, Skyline’s other returning sophomores are Justine Barb, Maryn Curnett, Alyee Gunter and Breanna James.
Barb, a 5’8 forward, averaged 6.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last season.
Gunter added 2.7 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. Both played in all 30 varsity games as freshmen.
“Gunter’s our best on-ball defender and has the ability to attack the rim,” Cheek said.
Skyline graduated Autumn Garrett and Kylie Craig.
Garrett, an all-state guard, is continuing her career at Bethany College (NAIA) in Lindsborg, Kan.
Four freshmen will provide new depth. They are: Grace Edge, Emily Edwards, Megan Holt and Shayla Lynn.
Edge, at 5’9”, will bring a much-needed post presence. Edwards offers scoring punch, Cheek said.
“(Grace) plays extremely hard and should help us with post defense and rebounding,” Cheek said. “Overall, we have a great mix of players that feed off each other’s strengths.”
Skyline starts the regular season Dec. 2-7 at the Warsaw Tournament.