By Mark Spillane
The Seymour Lady Tigers will be a young team this winter with just two seniors, Crystal Misemer and Karli Henry, on the roster.
There may only be two, but Head Coach Derrick Jessen says the duo will be key in the team’s quest to reach double-digit wins.
“Both Crystal and Karli are our only seniors,” Jessen said. “We are going to be a young team, so having our underclassmen look to Crystal and Karli’s varsity experience is going to be important. Both of these girls lead in the right way while pushing those around them to be better.”
Misemer averaged 9 points and 3 assists per game while Henry average 8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.
Joining the two seniors as an expected contributor is sophomore guard Lillie Rasmussen, who led the team by shooting 42.6% from the field last year.
“Lillie is a phenomenal athlete. This will be her second year playing basketball, and she will be important for us to have a successful season,” Jessen said. “She listens, learns, and applies everything she is taught when she is out there on the floor.”
Hailey Felton (junior), Madelyn Kyle (junior), and Adria Sturdefant (sophomore) are three more returners expected to contribute.
Felton averaged 8.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game last season.
Four freshmen are expected to have an impact this year on the floor. They are: guard Katelynn Smith, guard Alleigh Warren, guard Elisa Valbuena and forward Jadyn Johnson.
Jessen knows with such a young team, the Lady Tigers should improve as the season moves on.
“I want this team to get better with the more experience they get on the floor. We’re going to need some of our freshmen to play a lot of minutes,” Jessen said. “So expectations are that we don’t take any steps back and that we continue to get better every game we play.”
One way to get better overall will be to take care of the ball. Jessen says turnovers cost his team too many opportunities last year.
“Turnovers were very costly last year. We gave up over 20 points per game off of turnovers. Decision making and taking care of the ball is something we have been working on since I was hired.”
The Lady Tigers will take their first crack at showing that ball security when they open the season at Forsyth on Nov. 23.