Coach Kim Furnish doesn’t come right out and say it nor does she even hint at it. But deep down you got to believe that she thinks this could be the year that the Fillies will be a force in the 10th Region.
Although the Fillies return only two seniors, only one with a lot of experience, Harrison County has starters back at every spot and part time starters coming off the bench. Add to this the depth of a freshman center who Furnish believes can give valuable time off the bench and a seventh grade point guard who has the moxie to fill the bill when needed and you have a team that can compete for the region title.
Senior center Jordan Doram returns as the leading scorer and rebounder from last year and is widely considered to be one of the top players in the 10th Region.
Hayley Perkins is the other senior who returns and Furnish expects her to play a solid defensive game while helping on the boards.
“Hayley has worked very hard the past couple of summers and I expect that she will help a great deal to take some of the pressure off Jordan,” noted Furnish.
Three juniors return including two-year starter Chelsea Ingram.
Ingram will be the shooting guard this year after going back and forth from point the last couple of seasons.
“Chelsea is much more vocal this year to date and is becoming a leader,” said the third-year coach. “She is driving more and looking to score.”
Whitney Gray and Kelsey Roberts are the other two returning junior players.
Gray, who has been a part-time starter for two years, has looked good in the early scrimmages particularly on the boards. She will be counted on to come off the bench and give the Fillies a spark.
Roberts who is 5-foot, 10-inches will be a back up at the power forward and center positions.
Three sophomores also are on the 2013/14 roster.
Madison Philpot will be the point guard this season after spending her eighth and ninth grades at the small forward spot.
“Madison could be a scorer for us as well as a good passer,” said Furnish. “She just needs to find the confidence to do so.”
Kayla Ford and Meghan Clem are the remaining sophomores.
Ford is counted on to relieve the guards when they need a break and can get a rebound when under the basket.
Clem will have most of her playing time, at least early, with the junior varsity. She was the leading scorer in Friday’s junior varsity win over Sayre in the scrimmage.
Two freshmen will play for the Fillies this season with two-year starter Taylor Reffett returning at the small forward. The 6-foot Reffett has worked hard on her game and will be a force for the Fillies.
She and Doram spent time at the University of Dayton camp this summer with former Fillies star Camryn Whitaker and improved their games.
The other freshman 6-footer, Emma Darnell, has improved so that Furnish counts on her to come off the bench to spell Doram.
“Emma can give us some good minutes and for the first time in Jordan’s career we can give her a break without the team losing momentum,” said Furnish.
The final piece of the varsity puzzle is seventh grader Madison Kellione.
“Maddie D” as she is known by the coaches will be the back-up point guard for the varsity as well as the leader of the junior varsity.
“We have a tough schedule especially late in the season,” observed Furnish. “In February we play all of the top teams in the region after a brutal January stretch.”
She expects the top teams to be George Rogers Clark, Bishop Brossart, Scott, Montgomery County, Mason County and the Fillies.
Nicholas County could be an issue in the 38th District as well but the Lady Jackets graduated three starters from last year’s district runner up.
The highlights of the schedule are the Dec. 19-23 Republic Bank Classic in Lexington, the Bourbon County Tournament right before New Years Day and the Martin Luther King Shootout in Rowan County on Jan. 20. The Fillies will face Boyd County of the 16th Region for this event.
The season opens this Monday when Harrison County travels to Calvary Christian for a junior varsity/varsity battle beginning at 6 p.m.
The first district match up follows on the immediate Friday as there is a girl/boy doubleheader at Nicholas County.
There will be six girl/boy doubleheaders this season along with several occasions where the junior varsity and the freshmen play the same opponent.
“This year we need to and so far we are getting some offense from girls other than Jordan,” concluded Furnish. “This will allow for a more balanced attack. We just need to focus and learn not to repeat our mistakes while we set the tone for the games.”