Three Rivers Basketball Preview 2015READ ONLINE
Wonderview Lady DaredevilsPublished October 27, 2013 at 5:00 a.m.
Conference: 1A-5 North
Coach: Jeremy Simon, third year, 68-14 at school, 141-52 overall
Assistant coach: Jerod Squires
2012-13 record: 30-8, conference runner-up, Class 1A Region 3 champion, Class 1A state semifinalist, falling to Weiner, 65-52.
Returning starters: Bailey Zimmerman, 6-0 junior point guard, two-time all-state tournament selection; Shelby Williams. 5-10 senior center; Ali Harris, 5-8 junior shooting guard; and Hannah Sponer, 5-8 junior power forward
Best inside players: Sponer averaged 4 points per game last year. Simon said she should be able to help inside and out this season. Williams is the only senior on the team. She averaged 5 points per game last year. “Shelby should be able to get easy baskets underneath and play a big role in the middle of our zone defense,” Simon said.
Best outside players: Zimmerman averaged 18 points per game last season, leading the Lady Daredevils to the state semis before suffering a broken ankle. “Bailey is one of the best juniors in the state and will help us all around,” Simon said. “She is back to 100 percent and ready to go.” Harris averaged 9 points as a sophomore. “Ali gained lots of confidence late in the season and played great at the state tournament,” the coach said. “I OVERSET FOLLOWS:believe she is the best shooting guard in Class 1A.” Abby Sensabaugh, a 5-6 junior shooting guard, averaged 5 ppg and may be the most improved player on the team, the coach said. “She started playing better late in the year. She is a good shooter, and I look for her to have a great year.” Raegan Jones, a 5-6 sophomore forward/guard, was moved up after her junior high season last year. “She helped us win a regional championship and with a deep state-tournament run,” Simon said. “Her ability to guard the other team’s best player was a key factor in our late-season success.”
How will you match/exceed/fall short of your success from last year?: Despite the stellar finish last season, Simon said, the Lady Daredevils hope to improve in 2013-2014. “Although we lost a key player off last year’s team to graduation, we have four starters back and a few 10th-graders who went 21-3 in junior high,” he said. “Our goals are set high. We hope we can win our conference, district and regional tournaments. If we can do that, we should be in good position for another deep state-tournament run.”
Team strengths: Defensive pressure, ballhandling, ability to run a balanced offense.
Team weaknesses: Simon said his team needed to improve its rebounding and its ability to score in one-on-one situations around the basket.
Games to watch: Expect Dec. 13 at Mount Vernon-Enola to be a conference showdown. “Mount Vernon won our conference last season and will have a good team this year,” Simon said. “The winner of this game should have an early lead in conference play.”
Toughest opponent: Simon said he likes to play up in classification as much as possible to gain experience with some of the best teams in the state. The Lady Daredevils will play Little Rock Christian at the Pine Bluff tournament Nov. 11, at Perryville on Nov. 25 and in a December tournament at Morrilton.
College prospects: Zimmerman is getting looks from several colleges, Simon said, adding that he expects several other Lady Daredevils to have opportunities.
In a nutshell: “It seems like we have grown a lot as individuals and as a team,” Simon said. “I am very optimistic about this season. We are gearing up and ready to go.”