By Chris George
As we head from fall to winter the sounds of the round balls are out in gyms across the state and that only means that, High School basketball is just a matter of a few days away.
Head coach Dave Helmick returns for his third season and he once again has a potentially strong group for the 2019-2020 upcoming season. The current group consists of two seniors, one junior, six sophomores and eight freshman. Leading the way in the senior class is a pair of sisters in Terra Kuhn (5’11 F) and Katie Surguy (5’6 G). Kuhn is the leading returning scorer (16 ppg) and rebounder from a season ago. Coach Helmick expects Kuhn to once again lead the way for this offense. “Terra is as strong as any girl I have had and she is a force inside and can dominate the boards.” “We will need her to step up and be that senior leader that can carry us throughout the season.”
As for the other senior, Katie Surguy is expected to be a threat from the outside. “Katie may be one of our most consistent shooters from the outside and we are going to need that from her this season.”
The utility role for this year’s team may be the one lone junior on the squad in Gracie Rapp (5’7 F/G) Coach Helmick alluded to that fact when he mentions the different roles she may play this season. “Gracie not only will play up front for us but she will also be asked to play the guard spot when we want to go big with our lineups and different matchups we face.” Coach Helmick also mentioned how well she can handle the ball. “Gracie also gives us a player who can bring the ball up and pass it when we need to in certain situations.”
The sophomore class is deep and lead by two talented guards that saw varsity action from a season ago. London Hood (5’5 G) returns to run the point guard position and fellow guard, Jayden Kuhn (5’6 G) returns as well to add some shooting and ball handling. Coach Helmick really likes what he sees from his two young sophomore guards. “London has improved her outside shot and she is also stronger and more confident in her second season.” “Jayden brings us some outside shooting and ball handling that we will need when we face some pressure.”
The rest of the sophomore class will be made up with some young ladies who spent time on the junior varsity squad last season in Jessi Daniels (5’4 G), Vivianna Teter (5’5 G), Brailey Pennington (5’7 F) and a newcomer to the team this year in, Nevaeh Nichols (5’9 F). “We will need some of these sophomore’s to step up and provide depth on the varsity level this season.” “I like what I see from them so far in preseason camp.”
The freshman group this season is loaded with numbers (8) and that is good for the future of this program. Forward, Kadie Colebank (6’0 F) leads the way and is expected to help out on the varsity level this season. “Kadie will be our 6th man as we enter the season. She gives us much needed size and strength and skill up front.” “We can pair her with Terra (Kuhn) at times, to help us attack defenses and cause miss match problems for opposing teams.” Autumn Russell, Corrinia Lipscomb, Ella Spencer, Lilly Calloway, Skyler Cannon, Jacey Davis and Katlyn Simmons all form a strong freshman group.
Once again, the Lady Mountain Lions will face a tough schedule, which will battle test them as they try to get back to the state tournament. New to the schedule this season is; Philip Barbour, East Fairmont and two games with South Harrison. Parkersburg Catholic, Charleston Catholic and Wheeling Central Catholic also return to the schedule. Also, Class AA power, Frankfort is back on the schedule this year to go along with the standard PVC schools mixed in.
Overall as coach Helmick looks to begin his season next week, he sees that size and strength at the forward positions are the strengths. The weakness of this team he feels is depth overall at the guard position in the early season, which will improve as these young ladies improve as the season moves along. Coach Helmick does believes that this team could be strong in its man to man defense, especially on help side and also has the versatility to mix in some half court zone as well.
Tucker County will open up the season on December 5th as they entertain East Fairmont. JV action will be at 5:45 PM and varsity action at 7:30 PM. The entire schedule can be found on tuckercountysports.com, where there you can also find the radio broadcast schedule and the online broadcast schedule as well. For more info visit TuckerCountySports.Com.