Lady Leopards counting on experience
The Liberty-Eylau girls basketball squad looks to build off their past growth for the upcoming season.
Aquanetta Watson is entering her fifth season at the helm and is expecting her girls to blossom after being in her program throughout their high school careers.
“I’m excited to get the season started,” Watson said. “I think this year will be one to remember. We have some key players returning. We’re a senior-heavy team. We have eight seniors, and I’m pumped to see what we can pull together this year.”
Seniors Kayla Norris, Keeley Norris, Skylier Bailey, Rayanna Stivers and Kirsten Bailey are expected to carry the load for the Leopards.
“Keeley actually made the playoff run with me her freshman year,” Watson said. “Kayla and Keeley are twins, but one plays the wing and the other plays the post. Skylier is one the leaders for our team. She keeps the girls going, and she’s always in a good spirit.
“Kirsten played junior varsity for us last year, but she has really brought a spark of energy for us this year. She thrives off of defense, and she kinda reminds me of myself when I was in high school. Dayshia George is also going to set a spark for us defensively. Rayanna brings the heart and hustle that our team is going to need to be successful this year. Zoe Tucker will also provide big minutes for us in the post area.”
The Leopards finished district 9-1 last season, with an overall record of 23-12.
“The girls know what I expect of them,” Watson said. “Hopefully, we can run a system where our girls don’t get too tired. We want to keep fresh legs out there, and also keep a fresh set of legs out there at the end of the game. We’re excited to get on the court and get one under our belt.
“I always tell the girls, once you learn a system, you know what to expect. These girls know from Day 1 I’m going to be tough on you, but I want the best for you. I want 110 percent at every practice. We practice hard, so it will show up during every game.”
The Leopards host Marshall at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Rader Dome.