By Wade Linville –
While this year’s Ripley-Union-Lewis-Huntington Lady Jays once again face a challenging regular season schedule for their 2016-17 court campaign, don’t count this year’s RULH varsity girls basketball team out of the running for the Southern Hills Athletic Conference Division I title.
This year’s Lady Jays may lack in size, but they return an experienced varsity team that is packed with competitiveness. The Lady Jays are equipped with three seniors to provide leadership on the court – post player Kacy Gilkerson, guard Kassey Arnett, and guard Kursten Prater.
Also on the return for the Lady Jays are a talented crew of underclassmen, some of whom gained a great deal of varsity experience last season. Sophomore Cailey Kirk takes the court this season as starting point guard for the Lady Jays after seeing a great deal of playing time last season.
Carlee Daulton marks another skilled sophomore who returns with a significant amount of varsity experience, coming off an impressive freshman season in which she proved herself to be an effective scorer at the post and the perimeter as well as an aggressive defender.
Sophomore post player Jennifer Eichner is also back on the court after gaining some varsity experience as a freshman last season.
Rounding out this year’s RULH varsity girls basketball roster is sophomore Grace Mitchell, freshman Tori Lewis, and freshman Savanna Proffitt.
Proffitt has given the Lady Jays some good minutes off the bench already this season.
“We’re not going to be big, but we will be pretty solid defensively. This group plays hard,” RULH varsity girls basketball coach Chris Coleman said of this year’s Lady Jays. “Our biggest thing is probably taking care of the ball. If we do that, I think we will win some games.”
The Lady Jays are looking to improve on last year’s overall record of 6-15 and league record of 4-9.
“It’s not going to be easy,” said Coleman. “Our schedule is tough again this year.”
The Lady Jays started off their season with a 55-44 non-league loss to a talented Williamsburg team on Nov. 26, and on Dec. 1 they suffered a narrow 50-45 loss in gutsy battle against the Fayetteville-Perry Lady Rockets.
The Lady Jays then ventured to Georgetown High School on Dec. 3, falling to the Lady G-Men 54-53 in overtime.
Although they started out their season at 0-3 while facing some stiff competition, expect wins to come for this year’s Lady Jays as the season rolls along.