Lady Dragons look to surprise teams this season

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
The Bunceton with Prairie Home girls basketball team (front row, left to right) Paiton Williams, Savanna Tracy, Alexia Hein and Kaylee Angle. (back row, left to right) Assistant coach Kelsay Schrader, Piper Merill, Madison Brown, Laney Heilman, Lacy Stoddard, Kylee Myers and head coach Chris Herriman. Not pictured is Riley Zimmerman.

Bunceton girls basketball coach Chris Herriman knows the task at hand this season for the Lady Dragons.

After finishing 17-6 overall in 2020-21 under former head coach Dustin Ray, Herriman inherited just one starter back and two returning letter winners for the upcoming season.

The good news is that senior Madison Brown returns for the Lady Dragons, who was the MVP of the Cooper County Athletic Conference, along with eight other players to hopefully pick up where they left off after falling to the Otterville Lady Eagles in the district semfinals last year.

“Despite only returning two from last year’s team, this team is loaded with seasoned basketball players,” Herriman said. “I look for this team to surprise some folks. The key to the season is confidence. I have so many talented young ladies on this team. Once they see themselves athletically as I see them, we will be dangerous.”

Despite the one returning starter, Herriman said the strengths thus far of this team seems to be its toughness. He said this team is tough and fast and the defense is going to be the biggest asset this year. “We have some excellent perimeter shooters, however, most of the girls have not played together before so that could be a weakness. Another weakness will be meshing together as one unit.”

With the season set to open on Friday, Nov. 19th against the Slater Wildcats, Herriman said the goal is to compete and execute to the best of their ability each time they are given an opportunity to play basketball. “Our short term goals for us is improving on things one practice at a time,” Herriman said.

The motto for the season is also simple. Herriman said this year’s motto is BPH, which stands for Bunceton/Prairie Home.

Although Herriman is undecided on his starters heading into the 2021-22 season, he said he has a number of excellent athletes on the team.

As for the one returning starter, Brown will lead the Lady Dragons night in and night out and will be the go-to player early on after averaging 14.5 ppg and 10 rebounds last year. Brown also finished the season with 49 deflections and shot 75 percent from the free throw line and 33.7 percent from the field.

Herriman said the work that Brown has put in over the summer will be evident to all in short order. She will be a pleasure to watch this year,” Herriman said.

Also, returning with experience from last year is Kylee Myers. While averaging only 1.9 ppg last season for Bunceton, Myers did finish the season with 76 rebounds, nine steals and four block shots. Herriman said Myers has improved each year and nobody out hustles Kylee. “I look for her to contribute more offensively this year than last,” Herriman said.

Other players that will have to contribute this season for Bunceton are Paiton Williams, Alexia Hein, Laney Heilman, Riley Zimmerman and Savanna Tracy.

Herriman said Williams has worked hard this summer and is an excellent ball player. “I look for Paiton to contribute rebounding and scoring frequently this season,” Herriman said. “Alexia is a senior guard that hasn’t played since her freshman year. Lexi is very fast and aggressive. She is going to impress some people this year. Laney can shoot the rock well. She is a born competitor and I look forward to seeing her flourish this season. Riley has a very nice three point shot. She understands the game and will be fun to watch. Savanna is the energizer bunny, she can’t be worn down. I look for Savanna to be a defensive powerhouse and create lots of steals for us.”