Brindlee Mountain varsity girls

Varsity Lady Lion, from left: AnnaClaire Garmany, Abbey Mooneyham, Kyleigh Wilks, Chantzley Kirkland, Emily Moses, Natasha Williams, Kailyn Childress and Zoie Decker.

Chantzley Kirkland is a junior and has been a driving force in Brindlee Mountain High School athletics since her middle school days.

She and several of her current basketball teammates also have been part of a long-term rebuild since coach Tony Mabrey took the job prior to the 2016-17 season.

Mabrey took over a team that lost every one of its varsity players from a sucessful season the year before. The future looked bleak at the time and wins were hard to come by.

But as Kirkland’s class has moved up to the varsity level, with help from some younger players along the way, the progress has been building more quickly. Zoie Decker, now one of the team’s two seniors, has been a major part of that progress, too.

Mabrey’s first team, which included Decker and then-seventh grader Kyleigh Wilks, posted one win. His second team won three games. He began playing more young players the third year and the win total improved to eight.

Last season, the Lady Lions went 12-14.

Kirkland said she and her teammates have even higher aspirations for this season.

“We started getting better toward the end of last year,” Kirkland said. “We hope to do a lot better this year and continue to pick things up.”

Besides Kirkland and Wilks, other juniors who’ve been through many of the lean years are Anna Claire Garmany and Kailyn Childress. Seven of the nine players on the varsity roster have been a part of the program for multiple years, including the team’s other senior, Emily Moses.

Mabrey and assistant and JV coach Evan Lemons are glad to see the development of the program starting to bear some fruit.

“I think we’re going to be fun to watch,” Mabrey said. “We’re going to run the fast break. We won’t be pressing because of our numbers (nine). We don’t want to get into foul trouble.

“But I really do think this will be a fun team to watch.”

The players

Varsity girls

10 Anna Claire Garmany Jr

12 Emily Moses Sr

15 Kailyn Childress Jr

20 Chantzley Kirkland Jr

21 Maggie Roberson Soph

24 Zoie Decker Sr

25 Abbey Mooneyham Soph

31 Kyleigh Wilks Jr

35 Natasha Williams Soph

Head coach: Tony Mabrey

JV girls

11 Mallory Chandler Fr

13 Katrina Potter Soph

14 Alyssa Grider Soph

21 Maggie Roberson Soph

23 Addi Garmany Fr

25 Abbey Mooneyham Soph

42 Ella Knight Soph

30 Devon Murray 7th

32 Amber Riggs 7th

Head coach: Evan Lemons

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