Conway Lady Wampus Cats

Published October 27, 2013 at 5:00 a.m.
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Conference: 7A/6A Central

Coach: Ashley Nance, fourth year, 97-47 overall

Assistant coach: Jeff Gifford

2012-13 record: 16-12 overall

Returning starters: The Lady Cats return just two starters, junior guards Jordan Danberry and Kianna Speight.

Best inside players: Junior post Allie Pack and junior forward Christin Rogers

Best outside players: Besides Danberry and Speight, look for junior guard Asia Willard and sophomore guard Alexis Tolefree to contribute from the outside.

How will you match/exceed/fall short of your success from last year?: Unusually, the Lady Cats missed the Class 7A State Tournament last year, but with a sophomore-heavy roster, that wasn’t necessarily surprising. Nance said a year of seasoning should help. “Last season, we lacked experience with a large sophomore class,” she said. “This season, I hope to see more maturity on the court.”

Team strengths: The coach said her 2013-14 Lady Cats should be marked by athleticism and good guard play.

Team weaknesses: The young Lady Cats will need to work on executing end-of-game situations.

Games to watch: Nance said with the majority of Conway’s conference opponents finishing their seasons in the state finals last year (Fort Smith Northside over Fort Smith Southside in Class 7A, Little Rock Hall over Little Rock Parkview in Class 6A), any 7A/6A-Central game will be one to watch. “I believe our conference is the toughest conference in the state in any classification,” she said. With last year’s results, it’s hard to argue that.

Toughest opponent: Nance reiterated that the majority of the Lady Cats’ conference games will provide their toughest opponents. “All of these teams are coming off great seasons, have the majority of their key players back and are well coached,” she said.

College prospects: Danberry is ranked in the top 60 players in the nation, according to ESPN HoopGurlz and numerous prospect sites. She has drawn looks from several Division I teams and has been offered a scholarship by the University of Arkansas.

In a nutshell: “The 7A/6A-Central Conference should include some of the most exciting girls basketball played in the state, with the majority of the teams capable of being the frontrunner,” Nance said.

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