The Paris Lady Eagles basketball team has been working hard over the summer to build on the foundation they built under first-year Head Coach Dustin Williams.
Along with regular shootarounds and practices, the team has also competed in team camps to start the summer. Senior Keili Robinson is still the leader on the floor, but in the eyes of Williams and others, has made big steps in her progress and could move into Division One scholarship offers before the season is over.
Robinson is versatile and can play all five slots, and Ryleigh Hardwicke is progressing well and is expected to play the post position. Kenleigh Robertson is shooting the ball well, and Lexy Lee is getting the ball up faster. As we saw at the end of last season, Jadyn Hart will also be a major contributor, with all of the pieces allowing Robinson to do more on the court as teams have to protect against more players.
The Lady Eagles went 7-2 at team camp, although Williams’ approach is to work on fundamentals. They are showing tremendous improvement from a year ago, as was seen in the opening 16-0 run against 5A Alma, a game they held on to win.
The junior Lady Eagles are also transitioning, and Williams said Bailey Forst and Karsyn Tincleve with Jacee Hart will be a force to be reckoned with for a while, as the underclassmen move to Junior high after a successful 7th-grade campaign. Balance and speed will be key as the eighth graders develop to a different game against tough competition.
Williams also said the conference overall will be tough.
They will have the defending state champion among their season slate, but it looks to be strong from top to bottom. Though they had an impressive run and played shorthanded most of the year, Williams thinks that last years mark of 14 wins should be surpassed this season, even with the tougher slate. If there is one thing we can tell, it is that the Lady Eagles are willing to invest the time to play at a championship level. Expect quality performances as they take the floor this fall.