By Tim Chambers
The middle school Lady Longhorns must rebuild after losing their head coach and several key players from last year. New head coach Brooke Boone is in her first season at the helm and will learn on the job as the season progresses.
Boone played her high school basketball at Cloudland and was on some very good teams during her time there. She is eager to see what her squad can do and hopes they improve in every game.
“I’m excited to start a new journey at Johnson County,” said Boone. “I see a lot of potential but we are inexperienced. The girls do work hard in practice and want to get better. We have a lot of height on our seventh grade team but our varsity will be built more on speed and tough defense.”
Maci Luckett, Savannah McKinney, Sydni Potter, Jacey Eshelman and Gracie Grayson will lead the way on the varsity. McKenzie Taylor, Lizzy Barnes and Kali Harry are a trio of players that Boone feels like will help the team by playing some valuable minutes.
“We want to get the ball inside because we feel like we can score there,” said Boone. “We’ll put the ball in Luckett’s hands and depend on her to make good decisions. Sydni and Jacey have shown great improvement on the post and they both are good leaders on and off the court. Savannah can score and so can Gracie. We have eight kids that have proven they can score.”
Tiffany Arnold, Kristen Day, Kaydance Ward, and Raven Turan will all battle for varsity playing time.
Boone sees tough games ahead with Cloudland, Chuckey-Doak, Hampton and Cloudland. She knows her team is in for a battle.
“It’s a tough league and they all can play,” said Boone whose high school coach Matt Birchfield is head coach at Cloudland. “We know that Cloudland is loaded and they’re well coached. Happy Valley and Chuckey-Doak will field a good team and Hampton is always a tough game for us. We hope to compete too as the season goes on. We might start off slow but we should get better as they get more time on the floor.”