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Pottsville Lady ApachesPublished October 27, 2013 at 5:00 a.m.
Coach: Chance Johnson
Assistant coaches: Drew Siebenmorgen and Keri McAlister
2012-13 record: 14-15 overall and 7-5 conference. The Lady Apaches finished third in the conference and beat Farmington in the opening round of the Class 4A North Regional to advance to the state tournament, where they ended their season in the first round after a 41-39 loss to Heber Springs.
Returning starters: Courtney Dotson, a 6-0 senior post player, averaged 12 points and 6 rebounds per game during an all-conference junior season. Also back is Hannah Barnett, a 5-3 senior guard who averaged 4 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals per game.
Best inside players: Dotson, senior Jessica Foster, sophomores Ashley Brannon and Carlee McClure. Johnson said they would be the inside forces for Pottsville this season.
Best outside players: Barnett will be joined by senior Jenna Goodwin and junior Erica Lackey. “They saw a lot of playing time last season and will be key starters this season,” Johnson said.
How will you match/exceed/fall short of your success from last year?: Senior Bethany Clark will round out the starting lineup. Foster and Brannon will add to the depth in the post area. Sophomores Katie Cormier and Alyssa Williamson will be key subs for the guards, and OVERSET FOLLOWS:McClure and Bailey Floyd will add depth to the small forward position, Johnson said.
Team strengths: Depth in the post and at the guards. “Tremendous” work ethic and enthusiasm, Johnson said.
Team weaknesses: At least early, the young guards coming off the bench will be tested. “They are going to be really good players but lack the experience at the high school level right now,” Johnson said. “Once their confidence comes around, we will be even deeper, and it will add to our level of play.”
Games to watch: Dardanelle, Dover, Maumelle and Mena
Toughest opponent: Johnson said the 4A-4 would provide stiff competition. “We feel like we have a great chance of winning the conference, but we know it will be tough with very good teams like Dardanelle, Dover, Maumelle and Mena,” he said. “These teams will have the same goals in mind, and we will have to go through them to have a chance to win our conference.”
College prospects: None at this time.
In a nutshell: “Last season, I thought we lost some games that we had a really good chance of winning,” the coach said. “I attribute that to a lack of experience. We ended the season on a high note with a big win over Farmington and a close loss to a very good Heber Springs team. We are building on that this season with a lot of experience returning and the confidence that we can compete at a high level.” Pottsville’s boys team won the state championship last year, and now the Lady Apaches want to announce themselves. “It’s like they have a chip on their shoulder,” Johnson said of his Lady Apaches. “They got a little taste of what it’s like (with the boys winning). Now they want to go out there and show they can do the same thing.”