However, an early district exit has head coach Scott Womack and West Plains hungry for more in his 22nd season.
“Once we lost that game last year this team has been motivated to atone from that loss and has strived to be better this year through their off-season and pre-season work. After having such a great year it was tough to forget how the season ended and all we can do now is learn from it and not let it happen again,” said Womack.
Despite losing two valuable seniors in Whitney Ingalsbe and Haley Menz, 2012-13 could be an equally successful season as the Lady Zizzers return many key cogs from last season, including two-time all-stater Andi Haney.
The senior guard averaged nearly 20 points and six rebounds per game last year. She captured conference and district honors as well. Haney is 534 points away from the all-time West Plains scoring record. She scored 525 points last year.
“Andi is a special player. She has started every game in here. She is a two-time all-state player. She works very hard to improve her game, and has become a much more consistent outside shooter,” said Womack.
Sophomore all-conference guard Cassidy Johnson will help provide West Plains with scoring help. She averaged 11 PPG as a freshman.
“Cassidy was a consistent 3-point shooter last year for us that we need to continue to score for us from the outside this season. She has had a really good offseason and we are expecting bigger things from her this season,” said Womack.
The Lady Zizzers will also count on increased production from senior Hannah Riggs and junior Shelby Acklin, both are letter winners from last year’s team.
“Shelby and Hannah are two players that will be counted on heavily this. I think they could have a breakout season. Shelby started 27 games for us last year and has really picked up her scoring for us over the summer. Hannah is a very solid player. She works extremely hard defensively and has improved her outside shooting during the offseason,” said Womack.
Senior guard Kortnee Long and junior forwards BreAnna Harris and Kendra Warren will also see varsity action, adding guard depth, versatility and size for West Plains.
West Plains will defend its championship in the Fair Grove Tournament starting on Nov. 26 to open the season.