By Jordan Burton (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Lesley Reeves-Eakins has been accustomed to small teams led by quick guard play over her first three seasons as head coach at Reeds Spring. Last winter, the backcourt of Kalena Asbill and Shelby Strailey, both all Big 8 East selections, led the Lady Wolves to an 11-16 record. Six of those losses came by single digits.
The silver lining to their graduation is the fact that it has opened the door for more lengthy guards. That is one fact that excites Reeves-Eakins.
“This team will look way different that the last three years,” she said. “Size in the guard positions should help our outside shooting and rebounding.”
Brooke Davis and Carley Reeves-Eakins represent the senior presence on this year’s team and two distinctly different stories. Davis has been a regular sight, appearing in all 27 games as a junior while notching 7.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
Reeves-Eakins, meanwhile, will suit up for the first time since she was a starter as a freshman. Ligament injuries and subsequent surgeries on both knees forced her to miss the last two seasons. Her size makes her a strong rebounder and her athleticism is expected to be a nice boost to the lineup.
Sophomore Jade Watson will take over point guard duties after an impressive first varsity campaign. Her 8.9 PPG and 7.5 RPG average are tops among returners and she will be expected to improve on those numbers in year two.
Fellow sophomore Brynn Hogan adds to the size that Reeds Spring boasts from the frontcourt to the guard position as she slots into the post.
With many upperclassmen spending their fall in other sports, the Lady Wolves face more questions about what they will put on the floor than some other programs. It’s a cause for both curiosity and enthusiasm.
“The very few that don’t play fall sports, they are mostly freshmen,” said Reeves-Eakins. “They are communicating with me on a weekly basis if not daily. The girls are excited about the opportunity to compete this season, I think there is just still some uncertainty to what this team will look like due to the huge change this season.”
The Lady Wolves have secured win totals of 10, nine, and 11 in their first three years under Reaves-Eakins. The first round through the Big 8 East is complete, with the likes of Logan-Rogersville and Mount Vernon, both district champions, posing some of the biggest challenges. To take the next step and secure their first winning campaign since 2011-2012, the Lady Wolves will need to come together quickly and feed off their collective strengths.
“We will not be as fast as a lot of teams and I don’t have that one guard that I can give the ball to in the back court and send everyone else away. We will have to work as a team to break presses and will have to be ready to help on defense against faster teams.”
Reeds Spring will open the season on Nov. 25 at Sparta.