With 3 starters back, can anyone make a run at Scott County?
No team in the 11th Region came close to slowing down Scott County last season. It averaged nearly 80 points per game and outscored the next-closest 11th Region team — Lafayette — by more than 700 points.
The Cardinals were 15-0 against region competition and 31-3 overall. Scott County is expected again to handle the 11th Region — no other team received a first-place vote among ballots returned to the HeraldLeader in a preseason survey of the region’s coaches — and contend for a state championship.
“I think we have a chance. There’s a lot of things that go into a season, though,” said Scott County Coach Steve Helton. “We’ve gotta stay healthy and we’ve gotta develop some depth because we’re gonna have one of those nights where we get in foul trouble early, and also, defensively right now we’re behind where I’d like to see us. But we can score.”
One of the Cardinals’ losses was their opener in the girls’ Sweet Sixteen: A unit that shot 45.9 percent from the floor as a team was held to 32.7-percent shooting in a 60-45 loss to Manual, itself still riding high from an upset of Sacred Heart five days earlier in the 7th Region finals.
That was one of two games last season — the other a 70-33 loss in
Ohio — in which Scott County “just couldn’t throw it in the ocean.”
“And we paid the price on it,” Helton said.
Three of last season’s starters — Morgan DeFoor, Maaliya Owens and Juliette Smith — are back along with junior Malea Williams, a 6foot-2 standout who over the summer picked up several Division I college offers.
DeFoor, also a junior, has offers from Morehead State and Tennessee-Martin. Owens, a senior who’s signed with Tennessee Tech, averaged 15.6 points per game last season, just a tick behind leading scorer Peyton Riddle
Frederick Douglass’ Destyne Jackson averaged 26 points last season, fifth-most in the state.