By Mark Spillane
The Forsyth Lady Panthers hope this year will be just as good as last year when they won 20 games, including two in the district tournament.
The Lady Panthers will return their top player, senior Scarlett Texeira, who earned First-Team All-Conference honors last season.
“Scarlett is long and athletic. [She’s] a great shot blocker, good around the basket, but also has good touch from outside. She continues to get stronger and better each year defensively. She is a “gamer” and is able to help us in multiple categories night in and night out,” said Head Coach Mandy Rogers.
Texeira averaged a team-leading 13.4 points per game last season.
Several other seniors will join Texeira as key pieces for Forsyth: guards Triniti Sullenger and Katrina Drake and forward Meadow Mardis.
Sullenger chipped in five points per game last season.
“[Triniti] is a returning starter that will help manage our team from a point guard standpoint,” Rogers said. “We will also need her to step up offensively and be more aggressive.”
Mardis added 4.7 points per game for the Lady Panthers.
“Meadow is a good post player with good hands. [She] scores well around the basket, [and] is a good passer, rebounder and defender. [She] will also have to step up this year offensively and help replace some points we lost to graduation,” Rogers said.
Rogers says seniors Keelei Plummer, Morgan Blom, Breanna Grant, junior Landry Stuart, sophomores Kenzie Calhoun, Kloe Hendrickson and freshmen Savannah Koen and Belle Barrickman will all make contributions this winter.
Despite so many options, the Lady Panthers did lose three of their top four scorers from last year’s team. Rogers says they can make up for that by playing well on the defensive end.
“We will have to be very defensive minded and look to get stops which will hopefully create some offense for us. We hope to have a lot of depth and play a lot of kids, but we will fight through some youth early and have to adjust to losing over 50% of our scoring and rebounding from a year ago,” Rogers said.
Forsyth begins the season at home versus Seymour on Nov. 23.