By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
It’s not a “Mother Hubbard’s cupboard” anymore for girls’ basketball at Johnson County. A talented group of freshmen have arrived combined with a two-time all-conference player and some capable juniors and sophomores that have performed well in their tenure.
The Lady Longhorns are stocked with 22 players and are hoping to end the streak of 12 straight seasons without a regional tournament berth. They also have assistant coach Leon Tolley helping out. He took Hampton to three state tournaments during his tenure there.
They will need all that and then some to turn around a program that hasn’t been to the regional tournament in 12 years.
Johnson County finished 5-29 last season but failed to beat a TSSAA team listed on their schedule. Their lone win against a Tennessee school was a two-point victory at home over Tri-Cities Christian. The other wins came during a Christmas tournament in Virginia.
Second year head coach Thomas Wampler is hoping to put a different stamp on the program this season. He touched on the things they were doing and the added number of girls in the program.
“We’ve got more girls willing to compete and they’re willing to compete the way that we want them to,” said Wampler. “More of them are buying into what we want to do both offensively and defensively.”
The Lady Horns lost Kelsey Duperry and Kelsie Terrell from last season but return a couple of key players.
Michala Cretsinger (5’4, Sr.) returns at the guard position after averaging 13 points per game last year. Courtney Brooks (5’8, Jr.) was the second leading scorer averaging nearly 10 points per game.
Brittney Brooks (5’9, Jr.) gained some valuable experience last season on the inside and was one of the team’s top rebounders. Destiny Cole (5’7, So.) showed a lot of promise as a scorer while playing the guard position.
“We will lean on our juniors and seniors for leadership, but we’ve got two really good sophomores that are good leaders too,” added Wampler. “They do what we want them to do and they hold their teammates accountable. It’s not just a class thing. We’ve got leaders all across the team leading at different levels. Our coaching staff decided that we didn’t want to pigeon-hold who would be leaders. We want everyone in the program to be a leader at some level.”
Wampler was referencing Britain Peele (5’6, So.) and Bella Miller (5’8, So.) who were appointed as team captains.
Three freshmen could see plenty of playing time in the rotation.
To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.