By Wade Linville –
Local high school hoop fans should once again expect a great deal of success on the court in the upcoming season for the Fayetteville-Perry Lady Rockets.
Entering his 29th season as head coach of the Fayetteville-Perry High School girls varsity basketball program is Toby Sheets, one of the most experienced coaches in Brown County.
Sheets has been blessed with a high number of talented players over the years to compile an overall coaching record of 447 wins and 205 losses coming into the 2016-17 season, coaching Fayetteville teams to 13 sectional championships, three district championships, three Sweet 16 appearances, two Elite 8 appearances, three Brown County Holiday Tournament championships, and 12 league championships.
Last year’s Lady Rockets would finish their season with an overall record of 17-8, and despite the loss of some key players to graduation you can expect this year’s Fayetteville-Perry varsity girls basketball squad to be strong competitors on the court in this winter.
Among the key returners for the Lady Rockets this season is senior guard Taylor Cornett, who was the second leading scorer on last year’s team with an average of 9.8 points per game. At 5’7”, Cornett also saw some playing time as a forward in the zone defense last season.
“Taylor (Cornett) has a great understanding of the fast-break. Expect her to be on the receiving end of lay-ups in the break,” said Sheets.
On the return for her sophomore season and her second year as a varsity starter is point guard Cecilia Murphy.
Murphy was the team’s third leading scorer last season with an average of 7.9 points per game.
“Her endurance level is extreme,” Sheets said of Murphy. “Don’t expect her to come out of games very often.”
Other key players on the return include 5’8” junior forward Haley Moore and 5’9” sophomore forward Hannah Wiederhold.
Savannah Lynch and Emily Houk are two senior forwards who will compete on the varsity squad this season after playing mostly junior varsity last year.
Among the newcomers to the Fayetteville-Perry varsity girls team is 6’3” freshman center Margo Thompson, the tallest player Sheets has ever coached.
The Lady Rockets finished runner-up in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference Division II last season and ended their season as Southwest District Division IV Sectional runner-ups.
The Lady Rockets will once again compete on the Division IV level in the 2016-17 season.
The Lady Rockets kicked off their season Nov. 28 with a non-league home game against the Hillsboro Lady Indians to claim a victory and rose to a 2-0 record by defeating the Ripley-Union-Lewis-Huntington Lady Jays while on the road in game two of the 2016-17 season.