By Chris Parker
Richland girls’ basketball finished as a district runner-up with an 18-6 record. Big things could be in store for the Lady Bears this year with senior Katelyn Cole and junior Miranda Moss returning.
“Katelyn Cole and Miranda Moss will be our team leaders,” Richland coach Nancy Ward said. “They both bring a ton of varsity experience to our team. Both are capable of scoring at multiple levels. They really complement each other well and make a tough duo to match up with.”
Cole was a first-team all-conference honoree last year and has signed with Baker University. She averaged 21.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.2 steals and 2.9 assists per game last year.
Moss was also a first-team all-conference honoree after she averaged 13.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game.
Senior Brandi Allen along with juniors Belle Harley, Allie Belshe, Abby Latham and Hana Muse also return. Allen averaged 4.8 ppg last year. Harley scored 8.5 points per game and pulled down 6.2 rebounds per game. Belshe contributed 4.9 points per game. Latham scored 1.9 points per game to go with 2.5 rebounds.
Newcomers include: Abby Black (junior), Lily Gibson (sophomore), Leanna Bailey (senior) and Breah Morris (sophomore). Black adds depth to the post position. Gibson has shown great improvement and is playing with confidence/ Bailey is a leader and team player. Morris is a streaky shooter who can put up numbers.
“We are looking for big things out of this year’s team. We are a year older and more mature than last season. We will need our upperclassmen to step up and lead with a champion’s mentality,” Ward said. “As always, we want to compete for a conference championship, and make a deep run in the playoffs. We need to focus on bringing that mentality to practice every day. We are focusing on the defensive end this season as we feel that we didn’t play up to our expectations there last season.”
Richland opens the season Nov. 28 through Dec. 5 at the Frisco League Tournament.