By Chris Parker
Niangua ladies basketball has rattled off three straight double-digit win seasons. Now the Girl Cardinals will look to submit a report above .500 for the primary time in additional than a decade.
Coach Clint Gazette’s Girl Cardinals can have two kinds of leaders this 12 months: expertise and vocal.
“Each seniors are good leaders attributable to expertise,” Gazette stated. “Taylor Kochs is a three-year starter at guard. She is fairly heady and makes the great, good play more often than not. Being in my system for six years makes her a pure chief. Trista Crain was our sixth man final 12 months and our third main scorer. She was a streaky shooter final 12 months, a terrific passer and has a terrific defensive thoughts.”
“My vocal and bodily leaders are my two juniors,” Gazette stated. “Kaydance Knifong has been a defensive chief her whole profession and is turning into a powerful, robust offensive weapon, to not point out top-of-the-line communicators I’ve coached. Ashton Stuber is the purpose guard. (She is) small and fast, will get everybody organized and shot 41% from three. Now she wants to drag the set off.”
Sophomores Grace Medley, Allie Petty and Addi Terry have all proven robust low season enchancment.
“After the primary week of apply there’s noticeable change in her (Medley’s) shot. (She) struggled a bit final 12 months as a freshman, however when she will get the correct mechanics you may see an enormous change in consistency. We noticed glimpses of Allie’s potential her freshman 12 months, and up to now we’re seeing it extra usually this 12 months. Good potential to make a wide range of strikes on the basket and shot 32% from three,” Gazette stated. “(Terry’s) handles are significantly better (and her) bouncy toes are a lot quieter this 12 months. (She is a) robust, relentless defender who has a bit of imply streak in her. One other that should assist us on the defensive finish.”
Freshmen Ashtyn Callaway, Ashley Stephens, Skylar Dudley and Lilli Richerson together with sophomore Brooke Deckard will look to make a varsity impression this 12 months.
Gazette on Callaway: “simply retains rising. Lefty who can play all 5 positions and a motor that doesn’t give up.”
Gazette on Dudley: “only a freshman however has the potential to be a really, superb participant. She has all of the instruments, however lacks the expertise and confidence to complete. When she begins believing, she may very well be a drive.”
Gazette on Stephens: “very analytical participant. Tremendous good and might see the sport very nicely. Nonetheless a freshman so the response isn’t fairly quick sufficient but. Seeing her development from junior excessive to freshman 12 months, her greatest is but to return.
Gazette on Richerson: “nonetheless studying the sport however takes course nicely. She might have little impression on this season, however she is one other that point shall be her ally and enjoying towards this group of higher classmen will make her stronger.”
Gazette on Deckard: “she has taken 4 years off. Powerful minded, powerful bodied child. Cussed, imply, by no means stops, by no means cries, simply reveals up and performs. The type of child coaches love. Being behind a couple of years might damage a bit of, however she shall be a pleasant contributor earlier than it’s all stated and executed.”
Niangua opens the season on Nov. 20 at Galena.
“I hope we’re relentless and each offense and protection. I like protection,” Gazette stated. “We constantly moved ahead yearly. Final 12 months we plateaued. I wish to see the power and energy improve and push above .500. I’d wish to see us do some injury in districts.”