By SCOTT WILSON
Glasgow Daily Times
Justin Stinson has a friendly warning for all teams on the Glasgow High School Lady Scotties’ basketball schedule this season. As if the success Glasgow has had over the past three or four years isn’t enough, Stinson believes this year’s squad has the potential to be one of his best teams ever.
The 2013-14 Lady Scotties will be without the services of standouts Kelsey Greer and Kennedy Bailey, but Glasgow will return a host of talented players as GHS gets ready for another run at the state title.
“Every team is different, even if you return everyone. Roles are always changing and that’s how we approach it,” said Stinson. “We lost two good players in Kelsey and Kennedy and we’re going to miss them, but we’ve got some good players back and we’re excited about these players. We’re not really focusing on how we’re going to replace Kelsey and Kennedy, we’re trying to focus on how we’re going to use the players we have, trying to play a style that best suits the personnel we now have.
“I think we’re going to have great balance this year. I think we have strong inside play and I really feel good about our guard play. I think we’re more athletic than any year since I’ve been here. We’ve got great athletes and I think we’re going to play faster than we have in the past. We’ve got the potential to be very good.”
And if the Lady Scotties have a goal of getting back to the Sweet 16, they’re going to need to be very good because the 15th District, once again, has to be one of the toughest districts in the state.
“It is the toughest district in the region. I think all four teams have a chance to win the district and I think all four teams believe they have a chance to get to the regional tournament,” said Stinson. “Allen County is the favorite. When you’re 28-5 the year before, go to the finals of the region and you return four starters, you’re the favorite. Everyone is chasing them. Barren County is always competitive and Monroe County will probably win 18 or 20 games this year.
“I think anyone is good enough to beat any other team on any given night. That’s what makes this district so exciting. You have to show up and play in every district game, whether it is at home or on the road, and you have to play well if you want to advance. We feel like we have the talent to win the district, but it is November and we’ve got a lot of things we have to work on. We just want to show up every day, work hard and get better. If we do that, all the other stuff will take care of itself.”
The Lady Scotties will have a lot of experience on the floor when they open their season Dec. 6.
In the backcourt, freshman Elli Bartley will probably get the call at point guard with seniors Emily Alexander at one guard and either Ashley Smith or Hydeia Depp getting the call at the third quard position.
“Elli played a lot of crucial minutes last year as a point guard and she played really well. She has a great basketball IQ. She handles the ball well and she shoots it well. She makes everyone around her better,” Stinson said. “Emily Alexander will be on the wing. She started last year and averaged around nine points and five rebounds a game. She does everything well and she’s very versatile.
“Ashley Smith may or may not start, which wouldn’t matter to her because she is a team-first kind of kid. She’s going to work hard and provide us with some instant energy. She’s also playing the best basketball she’s played in four years right now. Hydeia Depp has had a very good preseason for us. She has good hands, quick feet and she can really be a lockdown defender for us.”
Stinson said sophomore Allie Chapman should see a lot of time on the court as well as freshman Skyler Burd.
The other two starting positions should go to sophomore Bree Glover and senior Shalika Smith, who has signed to play basketball next year at Western Kentucky University.
“Bree will probably be on the wing, but we will also play her on the point some this year. She has such great court vision and she is a major Division I prospect,” Stinson said. “Shalika is a Western Kentucky University signee. She’s in the best shape of her career. She’s finishing around the basket better this year. Shalika is a hard working kid and we’re excited about the year she’s going to have.”
Sophomore Heidi Holgate will spell Smith in the post position. “She’s improved dramatically,” Stinson relayed. “She plays with her back to the basket and we feel good about plugging her in off the bench.”
Stinson said Glasgow will be faced with one of the toughest schedules since he’s been the coach. “It is a tough schedule and we believe that makes you better for the post season,” he said. “We could schedule 20 wins if we wanted to, but then you get beat in the first round of the district and I don’t consider that a successful season. We have aspirations here of winning championships and we have to do what’s going to put us in the position to do that.
“Lady Scottie basketball has expectations to be successful. I also think for every team it is about showing up every day and getting better. You have to understand some years you’re building a Cadillac and some years you’re building a Ford. What you want to do is use the pieces you have and be as good as you can be. And I think if we can do that, then we’re going to be successful. The championships will take care of themselves.”