Kim Furnish enters her second year as head coach of the Harrison County Fillies with some definite changes in mind.
The line up will change because three starters from last year’s 10-22 squad are gone.
The trio averaged in double figures between the three of them so the points will be missed as well as team leadership.
Kelsey Cummins was the point guard for three years, Mariah Nichols, the second leading scorer and Emalee Little was capable of having big scoring nights.
The line up is not the only change for the Fillies.
“We are going to play a faster paced game,” admitted Furnish. “The girls have been working hard to get in top shape so we can play the entire floor. We will have a 10-player rotation for the first part of the year at least until we can find the right combination and because we will be playing up and down the floor.”
Although the Fillies lost three seniors to graduation, the cupboard is far from bare.
Returning are two full time starters, one who started the biggest part of the year and two other young ladies who started more than once during the last season.
Mix these players in with some other players who had some varsity experience and a great summer of preparation and the Fillies chances seem better than the coach wants to admit right now.
Returning for what will seem like her fifth or sixth year to area coaches is 6-foot junior Jordan Doram.
Doram is widely thought to be the best returning player in the 10th Region and has added some outside skills to her inside dominance.
“We are playing Jordan out at the three and four positions right now in practice and she played quite a bit out on the floor over the summer,” said Furnish. “Jordan will surprise people with her ability to score from out and to put the ball on the floor.”
Also returning is sophomore Chelsea Ingram who played point quite a bit last year as well as shooting guard.
Freshman Madison Philpot played as the sixth man last year after starting in Doram’s absence when the team scoring leader was injured.
Philpot has moved to the shooting guard spot and can really move the ball up the floor.
“We have improved as a team in our ball handling,” commented Furnish. We still need to work on it more but we have made some great strides in that department.”
Three other players who played quite a bit of varsity last year are Whitney Gray, Kassidy Cook and Taylor Reffett.
Gray and Cook are sophomores and Reffett an eighth grader, all of whom Furnish is counting among her 10 players who will see the most floor time.
Four others who are expected to contribute in the top 10 are the team’s only senior Elizabeth Boyers, junior Hayley Perkins and sophomores Haley Powers and Kelsey Roberts.
“As we play a faster tempo and full court press, all of these girls will have to be ready to get the job done,” said Furnish. “They have all been working hard to meet our goals of a better, more aggressive defense and a higher tempo offense.”
Part of the plan for the Fillies is to build up the future.
Furnish is doing this by scheduling more games for the junior varsity and freshmen. The coaching staff has brought up players from the eighth, seventh and sixth grades to gain this experience along with the freshmen who have not had varsity experience as of yet.
The coach has high hopes for this group of youngsters as they progress during the season.
The 38th District competition looks to be tough this year as favorite Pendleton County has all but one player back from last year and neighboring Nicholas County has everyone back.
Deming, though short on numbers, has probably the second best player in the district in Lacey Mitchell.
According to Furnish, the preseason pundits have not included the Fillies in teams to look at for the region or district title.
Montgomery County and Bishop Brossart are the two favorites in the region, according to the preseason polls.
That is okay with Furnish.
“We have a great group of girls who are working hard with an ambition to get better,” she noted. “We are focusing on a more up tempo, higher intensity style of play. If we can improve as the year progresses, we could surprise a lot of people.”
The Fillies begin with a couple of scrimmages first at Scott County on Nov. 16 and 17 and finally at Franklin County on Nov. 24 before the season opener at home with Calvary Christian on Nov. 29.
The Fillies coaching staff is the same as last year with Garyn Price coaching the freshmen squad, Jenna Landacre the junior varsity and Chris Reffett as Furnish’s assistant. Cindy Earle will once again be the Fillies scorekeeper.