Just three years ago, Brindlee Mountain had seven players in its high school girls basketball program. Head coach Tony Mabrey had to dip into the middle school ranks just to field a varsity team.
A junior varsity team? Forget about it.
But times have changed. This year, the varsity is putting 11 players into action. The JV team also has 11 players.
And while in a perfect world, some of the eight underclassmen on the varsity team might could help the JV cause this season, the JV team as is is pretty good in its own right, according to coach Evan Lemons.
Five players, in particular, have emerged as leaders and comprised the starting five in last night’s opener at Randolph. Interestingly, four of them are freshmen.
They are Anna Clair Garmany, the captain and lone sophomore on the team (the varsity has four sophomores).
The rest are freshmen: point guard Courtney Long, Abbey Mooneyham, Alyssa Grider and Natasha Williams.
Grider, the biggest and most physical of the five, is the lone forward in Lemons’ guard-oriented offense.
Garmany, Lemons said, is captain because of her intensity and effort. “She’s run through a brick wall if you asked her to,” Lemons said.
Long is a true point guard in every sense, he added, but also noted that the combo of Maggie Roberson, also a freshman, and Mooneyham will be what makes the team go.
“Both can run the point and both can be on the court at the same time,” Lemons said. “Whoever gets the ball will push it up court and force the pace.”