By Chris Parker
Licking girls basketball had a streak of four straight district titles snapped last year, but still won 18 games. The Lady Wildcats will look to start a new district championship streak this year with a talented core returning.
Senior point guard Kylie Taylor and junior wing Abbie Sullins will be team leaders. Taylor is a four-year starter who averaged 7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.8 steals per game last year. Sullins scored 10.7 points per game with 4.1 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game last year. Both players earned first-team all-conference honors last year.
“She (Taylor) controls the flow of the game for us. Her numbers will take a jump this year as she will be asked to score more than before,” Licking head coach Steve Rissler said. “Abbie was our leading scorer as a sophomore. She is poised to have an even better junior season on both ends of the floor.”
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Kiley Ingram (senior wing), Winter Murray (senior wing), Kaida Cook (junior post) and Hannah Medlock (sophomore guard) return from last year’s team. Ingram can play inside or outside. She averaged 6.5 points and 4 rebounds per game last year. Murray is an X-factor that can score in bunches. Cook is a very physical player who will play in the paint. She averaged 4.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and shot 49% from the field as a sophomore. Medlock is a strong offensive player with strong basketball instincts.
Junior Emma Taber will step up to varsity this year. She led the junior varsity in scoring last season.
Licking has a deep freshman class expected to contribute including: Kinley Keaton (point guard), Allie Hock (forward), Linzie Wallace (guard), JoJo Wells (guard), Zoey Dawson (forward) and Halee Clayton (guard).
Keaton has a high basketball IQ and will handle the ball. Hock is a physical forward that can take defenders off the dribble or post up. Wallace plays much bigger than her size. Wells is a lefty who is an in-your-face defender with a good three-point shot. Dawson can play inside or outside. Clayton is a lockdown defender.
Licking will travel to Rolla for a jamboree on Nov. 12 with Fatima, Owensville and Rolla. The Wildcats will open the regular season on Nov. 23 at Cuba.