WHEELER • Most teams use the summer to reload depleted rosters due to graduations, transfers or other factors but Biggersville girls aren’t in need of replacing anything.
The Lady Lions return every player from last year’s team–one that went 18-9 and reached the Class 1A semifinals in Jackson, led by a large contingent of sophomores.
In Tuesday’s summer games at Wheeler, Cliff Little saw signs og continuity that led his team deep in the postseason just a few months ago but he says the main goal is for the Lady Lions to enhance their individual skills above attempting to find new roles.
“All I talk to them about is individual improvements. The team stuff, we’ll put that together later,” said Little. “Sometimes we don’t look very good. I’ve probably got the worst summer record of any coach in the state. We just don’t put a lot into it, but what I do want to see is kids getting out of their comfort zones and show me something.”
One point of emphasis has been team shooting over the course of June.
Biggersville features a big presence in the paint with Asia Stafford, who averaged 16 points and 13 rebounds last season. Add in Goldee Butler, plus the slashing abilities of point guard Hannah Seago, and twins, Leileigh and Aaliyah Moody, and the need for spacing becomes critical for a team trying to take the next step.
“That’s all we do is shoot, shoot, shoot,” said Little. “We’ve driven that home to them. I’ve encouraged them to write down individual goals of shooting ‘X’ amount of shots, or I’m going to make this many before I move. I think their work on shooting the ball showing up.”
While all roles are defined from returning players, one is being created with the addition of Sariah Hoyle, a transfer from Corinth, who moved to Biggersville last season before an ACL tear derailed her season. Hoyle will be the Lady Lions’ lone senior.
“She brought a ton of athleticism to us defensively and then she tore that ACL and you can still tell it’s nagging her,” said Little. “I think she is coming around. She’s a hard worker, got a good attitude, and gives us an extra body to bang down low if Asia gets in foul trouble.”