Lady Cavs bring much

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Jeff Forest girls basketball overview

By Mike Forster

A breakout year for the Lady Cavs?

Or, perhaps, a year of mediocrity?

If nothing else, you should see a lot more scoring.  Superb outside shooting and a strong inside game will do that for you.

Whether more scoring translates into more wins is another question.

That’s why they play the games, after all.

This year’s team returns several key components from last season’s fourth place (Seminole) team.

Discussion of the individual components could start with several players.  We’ll go with Anna Carter.

She has the potential to be one of the top scorers in the area, as evidenced by her 16 points per game over the second half of the Seminole slate.

More so, Carter personifies the concept of “team player.”

Lots of coaches throw that term around.

We can prove it, though, with Carter.  In soccer, she gave up field position that might have yielded her great glory to fill the vacancy at goal keeper.  No glory there, folks.

She’s skilled on the court, too.  She’s got an expanded shot repertoire and speed to boot.  She’ll see most of her minutes at forward.

Speaking of stellar shooters, Kelsey Clay fits that mold.  Possessed of one of the best set-shots in the region, Clay has improved her defense, according to JF Head Coach Paul Redgate.

She’s already showing off her prowess from beyond the three-point arc, having nailed a trio of treys against Gretna, in early-season action.

While Clay is a prototype shooting guard, she has the skill to plug in at point guard, as well.

Most of the play at the point should be handled by Erin McKeague.  “She’s made a great transition to point guard this year,” noted Redgate.  “We look to her to set up our offense.  She’s a leader on the court.”

This year, McKeague will play without big sis, Rachel, who was a key to the team the last three seasons, but has moved on (to JMU).

Now it is Erin’s turn to carry on the family tradition.

“We kept the point guard position in the family,” chuckled Redgate.  

With Carter, Clay and McKeague, Forest has some serious outside shooting threats.

Having that trio means that the Lady Cavs should be able to open up the floor significantly, compared to just having one credible threat.

That should mean that the outside game also can become more dangerous.

It could really be fearsome with the play of Brittany McCormick.

She’s a 6’1” long drink of water who has a good amount of speed.

During the volleyball season, her aggressiveness was both notable and a factor in the team’s success.  Should that approach carry over to basketball, she could be a premier paint player.

She’ll be joined on the court, if not in the paint, by fellow volleyballer Megan Prothero, who took a year off from hoops last season.

While Prothero also has a nice outside shot, her attitude, work ethic and enthusiasm might prove most valuable to this team.  She’s a winner.

Others who should make an impact include Channon Payne, a 5’8” post player who seems to give her all.

Jessica O’Bryant, like Carter a soccer standout, may be one of the best defenders on the team.

Junior Kaila Reese-Younger brings solid athleticism and a nose for the basket to the mix.

While the team has a lot of new faces, it will have the chance to mesh early.  Four of its first five games are at home, including this Thursday’s game against Staunton River.