Among them are the senior trio of Moriah Dapprich, Jessie Barton and Marissa Turpen. Dapprich will join her sister, 2012 BHS graduate Michaela Dapprich, on the Wichita State women’s basketball team next year.
Junior guard Sydney Shepherd leads a four-player junior core that return as varsity players for the Lady Pirates, who fell to Kickapoo in their playoff opener last season.
Kip Bough begins his sixth season as the Lady Pirates’ head coach. He’s amassed a record of 91-45 at Branson.
“We are a defensive-oriented team,” Bough said. “We always play good defense.”
The Lady Pirates also lost Ruby Stevens to graduation. She averaged 10 points and 6 rebounds per game.
Along with Shepherd in the junior class, forwards Hadley Blake, Kirstin Womack and Emily Calovich and center Jessica Tankersley should give Branson a nice presence around the basket. Bough mentioned guard Ashley Forrest as a newcomer capable of contributing to the varsity.
Branson hosts Glendale for its season opener on Nov. 20. The Lady Pirates play at Harrisonville (Ark.) Nov. 27, then compete in the Bentonville Tournament beginning Nov. 29.