If there's something the Paris varsity girls basketball team doesn't have this season its new athletes.
One thing the squad does have is losses to graduation that included was Betsy Embree and Brittany Wilson. That just leaves head coach Garrett Thomas with one source for success and that's retunring talent, a well he'll be drawing from heavily as he guides this team through the perils of Lewis and Clark Conference contests.
"Embree and Williams were each selected to the All Conference team twice and Embree was selected to the All District team once," Thomas said. "Both were three time team voted captains and four year varsity players. Betsy and Britany were excellent leaders for our program. Despite losing their experience and leadership they did a great job preparing their teammates to fill the gap they left."
Last season the Lady Coyotes had a record of 21-6 overall, 7-1 Lewis and Clark. In order to attempt to replicate those efforts Paris is going to have to saddle up and ride on of its four returning seniors. As for which one, it all depends on whose hitting the shots at the right time.
"Senior forward Drew Lockhart is a four year starter. She's been selected to the All Conference team each year and to the All District team twice," Thomas said. "Junior guard Allison Moore has started the last two seasons. She's been All Conference twice and All District twice. Senior guard Grace Peak and senior forward Makayla Fox both started last season. Senior guard Hannah Mitchell, junior guard Delaney Miller and sophomore forward Tori Hamilton each played significant roles last season."
Even though this squad did lose some major contributors that it wasn't able to replace with outside talent, what the Lady Coyotes didn't lose was the balance of their attack. That means, when things become just a little more competitive, Paris has the ability to rise to the occassion instead of playing to the level of its opponent.
"This season we have a chance to be at the top of our conference and district. We have several guards who shoot the ball well from beyond the arc and three or four post players who do an excellent job handling the paint," said Thomas. "We have more depth off the bench this season, which should allow us to become more transition oriented. Consistency is key. In the past we've hung our hats on defense and rebounding. If we can continue to execute in those areas we are going to have a successful season."