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Minettes seek growth

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Liberty lady hoopsters gear up for new season

By Mike Forster

Minettes Head Coach E.B. Watson is seeking something from her team that she was unable to get during her time as Liberty’s point guard:  a .500 season.

Watson, who begins her third year at the helm of the Liberty program, stated that such a goal is a reasonable one, even though it’s been well over a decade since a Minette team finished with a winning record.

Last year, Liberty showed some sparks of brilliance in earning a tie for fifth in the Seminole District.

A big piece of that team walked off the stage at Liberty’s commencement ceremony last June, diploma in hand.

Brandie Witt, along with some other LHS graduates, will be  tough to replace.

Still, this team has good depth, enthusiasm and talent.  

The .500 goal is certainly a realistic one.

But, is it attainable?

Confidence is high in Bedford.

“You can’t convince my kids that they can’t compete for a Seminole District championship,” noted Watson.  “They’ve got the good fight in them.”

No doubt.  Watson’s charges are physical and aggressive.  The bet here is that very few teams will get off the Liberty hook easily.

The team is a young one, with only two seniors.  Each will play crucial roles.

Haley Comer is versatile, able to play the point or shooting guard.  She is a hard-nosed scrapper who isn’t afraid to be a pest.

Speaking of pests, we’d be remiss if we didn’t comment on the other senior, Christy Witcher.

Slightly built, Witcher is, nonetheless, extraordinary at bothering the dickens out of opposing offenses.

Witcher helps set the tone for the team, with a great work ethic and a no-nonsesnse approach to practice.

The team is rich in juniors, starting with KiKi Jones.

The versatile Jones will be invaluable to the Minettes’ ability to spread the floor.  Look for Jones’ outside shooting to ratchet up this season.

You can always pick Jones out in a game.  She’s the one with the mismatched stockings.

Gabbi Spinner is another junior poised to make a big impact.  The team’s bulldozer, Spinner has shown herself to be tough in the post.

While Spinner’s specialty should be cleaning the lane, look for her to be one who helps fill the offensive void left by Witt.

While Spinner provides some inside muscle, Andrea Carper is one who can provide some finesse, with a nice outside shot.

Another one to watch for is Destiny Poindexter.  Very athletic and blessed with long arms and fast legs, Poindexter is also strong enough to play in the paint.

She’s only now discovering, among other skills, a nice ability to block shots.

Still another who can help out in the post play is Brittany Eide, a sophomore, like Poindexter.

Eide has a good inside presence and should see some quality minutes.

April Layne, a junior, brings a decent shooting touch to the mix, as well as a sound approach to her work.  She’s got that can-do attitude that can be infectious.

Another hard driver is Lesley Comer, Haley’s little sis.

The younger Comer has the same grit and determination as any other Comer.  She has a bit of a height edge on Haley, so she can also plug in at the small forward position, when needed.

Watson also has a couple of freshmen in the mix.

McKenzie Tibbs is a 6’1” player with tremendous potential.  She has already shown she can hit the trey, and her size makes her a threat from anywhere on the court.

Jocelyn Thomas is a girl who can play in the Gabbi Spinner mode:  strong and forceful around the basket.

Watson is very pleased with what she’s seen so far from these younger players.

For that matter, she is pleased with the team, in general.

“I feel well about were we are, direction-wise,” she said.  “Now we have to maintain it.”