The Weaubleau girls graduated two all-conference players in Jerika Vanderford and Jenna Daggett from last year’s 15-11 squad, but don’t expect them to take a step back this season. The Lady Tigers return five players that saw action in at least 20 varsity games last season.
Senior leadership will come from Danni Stewart, Jenna Ratliff and Kierra Gannaway this year.
Stewart averaged 4.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game as a junior.
“(She is) our leader. She has developed her post scoring to go along with her solid rebounding and post defense,” Weaubleau head coach Charley Dryer said.
Ratliff added in 6.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.4 steals in 20 games last year.
“Jenna handles the ball for us. She has started at point guard each year she has been in high school. She is capable of putting up big numbers,” Dryer said. “She is a well-rounded player. I think she is ready to produce big numbers for us this season after injuries limited her the second half of the year last year.”
Gannaway will be a key post player after seeing time in 16 games last year.
Kari Reed leads the junior class after earning all-conference honors as a sophomore. She averaged 6.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.
“I thought last year Kari was by far our most improved player since the previous season. I think I am going to be seeing the same thing this year. It seems as if she has lived in the gym,” Dryer said. “With her size and speed she is capable of playing multiple positions offensively and guarding multiple positions defensively. She is effective in the post on both ends. She has gotten to where she can score off the dribble and starting to get where she can hit shots from the outside. She has potential to be a big time player.”
Classmate Liz Stewart also returns after seeing time in every varsity game last year and posting averages of 3.9 points, 2 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.
The sophomore class features Jenna Daggett, Haleigh Dryer and Celena Lambeth. Daggett played in all 26 varsity games as a freshman with averaged of 8.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.
“Jenna is capable of putting up points and a lot of points in a hurry. She has a way of getting the ball to the rim. She is becoming a better scorer and defender. She is also a good rebounder and passer,” Dryer said.
Dryer and Lambeth each saw time in 10 varsity games last year.
The freshman class is deep with Emma Case, Jady Lower, Natali Collins, Brynn Mitchell and Katie Ginnings.
Two big x-factors for Weaubleau will be the addition of Hermitage transfers Makayla Hostettler (junior) and Anna Ginnings (senior). Hostettler averaged 12.8 points, 8 rebounds, 3.9 steals and 3.5 assists per game for a 25-win Hermitage squad as a sophomore. Ginnings scored 9 points per game for the Lady Hornets.
“I thought this was going to be our year this year with the talent we have returning. Now we have some others that have moved into the district that has made us even better,” Dryer said. “We have a nice mixture of speed and size. We will be able to work from the perimeter and get it inside for production. We have a lot of depth that will allow us to have some very competitive practices. We have several players capable of putting up numbers. I think we will be better than we have been in a while. I don’t know if we can match the ability of some of the dominant teams in the area but I think we can be a tough team to beat. Anything can happen by March, I know the girls are believers. With the buzz surrounding the ability of the team and the new gym it should make for a fun year.”
Weaubleau opens the season on Nov. 16 at Lakeland.