Only four players return for LHS that saw extensive varsity action last season — seniors Kelsey Pemberton, Jenna Mitchell, Emma Carter and junior Rachel Morris.
The ‘Jackets will have to replace its leading scorer from last year, Rebekah Tabb, who is now playing at Judson University, and guard Katie Harrill. The inside-outside combo teamed to provide much of the offensive punch for LHS last season.
“The challenge for this group is overcoming our inexperience, especially for our guards,” Pentecost said. “We don’t have a lot of varsity experience.”
This year, Lebanon will likely feature an inside-outside combination of Pemberton and Morris.
A standout on the volleyball court, Pemberton is an athletic 5-foot-11 forward who was among the team’s leading rebounders last season.
An outstanding shooter, Morris, a 5-foot-8 guard, was the team’s second-leading scorer last season.
Mitchell, a 5-foot-9 guard, played mostly in a reserve role last season. Pentecost said he hopes to have Mitchell play more off the ball after handling the ball last season.
Carter, a 6-foot-2 senior, will give the ‘Jackets a presence around the basket. She also played a reserve role for LHS last season.
Also in the mix is junior Emily Hough who mostly played on the JV last season.
Those five players will team with a sophomore class that is coming off winning seasons as junior varsity players last season and at the junior high level.
Ashton Light (5-foot-5), Renee Hudson (5-8), Mikayla Widhalm (5-7) and Maggie Vaughn (5-5) are all expected to vie for playing time this season.
Pentecost said Light and Hudson will both see time at point guard, and Widhalm is a solid forward who plays bigger than her listed height.
“They are a talented group,” Pentecost said. “We could have thrown them into the (varsity) mix a little more last year, but they were developing some success and building on what they have had in the past.
“We wanted them to build on the confidence that they had.”