The Prairie Home girls basketball team may be small in numbers this season with only eight suited up for the 2018-19 season, but don’t let the small numbers fool you when it comes to what the Lady Panthers are capable of on the court.
With former head coach Dalton Armontrout moving on to Madison, Mark McLaughlin has taken over the reigns as the new coach for both the boys and girls basketball teams.
After finishing 9-17 overall in 2017-18 and with three returning starters this season, McLaughlin said the Lady Panthers will be young but there are some skills across the board.
“This team is really committed to making their own way and forming an identity for toughness and commitment to each other and to hard work,” McLaughlin said. “The team goals this season are to be balance offensively, set “process” for hard work, team work and competitiveness and compete in every game.”
Of course it goes without saying that Prairie Home took a major hit in terms of players transferring or quitting basketball altogether.
But that’s hardly suggesting that the Lady Panthers don’t have players waiting to step up and accept the challenge.
Returning this season for the Lady Panthers are 5’-9” junior Ashley Twenter, who averaged 5.8 ppg, sophomore Maggie Wood at 10.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg and 1.2 spg and sophomore Kelsey Watson at 8.5 ppg. Both Wood and Watson will play the guard position while Twenter will move from the guard position to the forward spot.
“Ashley is a very athletic young lady, who is fast and long,” McLaughlin said. “She is also a good rebounder and defender. As for Maggie, she is a handy ballplayer. She has good handles and is a nice shooter and does a nice job of anticipating defensively. Watson, meanwhile, is a quick and athletic player who can shoot the ball, drive it and has a good passing eye. She is also a quick defender.”
Wood and Twenter also return after earning honorable mention all-conference in 2017-18.
Other players that will have to step up for Prairie Home to be successful this season are 5’-9” sophomore Kaelin Crews, 5’-10” sophomore Madison Bishop and 5’-8” freshman Paiton Williams.
McLaughlin said all three players will be looked at to play the forward position.
Players that will be looked at to contribute off the bench this season for the Lady Panthers are 5’-4” sophomore Bre Caudell, 5’-4” sophomore Leric Tracy and 5’-2” freshman Savanna Tracy. `As for the CCAA conference this season, McLaughlin said he looks for Calvary Lutheran to be at the top, followed by Higbee, Prairie Home, Bunceton and Jamestown.