Archived Story

Lady Wildcats mid-season review

Published 10:11am Friday, December 27, 2013

With experience and talent at key positions and a sub-regional berth last season, the Benjamin Russell Lady Wildcats had reason to be optimistic.
So far, the Lady Wildcats have started out strong in the 2013-14 season, as new coach Alexis Hines has the team at 8-3 heading into the winter break. With area play on the horizon, here’s a recap of the Lady Wildcats’ hardwood exploits so far this season.

The season so far
The Lady Wildcats have run out to an 8-3 start to the season so far. Defense has been the common theme in their victories, as the girls only allow 31 points per game in their victories. BRHS’ losses have come to 6A foe Auburn, Class 5A No. 3 Sylacauga and Winterboro, which is among the better teams at Class 1A. Despite the team’s play, the Lady Wildcats are on the outside looking in terms of rankings, but with area play set to begin, the Wildcats can start to show that they belong amongst the top-10 of Class 5A.

Star watch
For the Lady Wildcats, much of the team’s success is predicated on the play of their three seniors: Cookie Kelley, Jernika Russell and Aaliyah Lawson. So far this season, all three have answered the bell.
Russell is consistently a mismatch for opposing teams on the inside, and is a regular double-double threat for the Wildcats.
Kelley’s offensive game seems to have taken a step or two forward, as she’s showing off a consistent mid-range jumper and improved free throw shooting from last season, among other things. Lawson continues to excel in multiple areas. Barring an injury to either player, the Lady Wildcats should be in good shape as they head into area play.

Unsung heroes
With their version of the “Big 3” humming along without any real issues, the Lady Wildcats are looking for others to balance out the team heading into 2014. Savannah Pearson, Nikita Adamson and Chloe Owens appears to be the three responsible for that task.
Pearson has quickly become the team’s most dangerous outside shooter, and when she has her shot going, she effectively becomes an offensive X-factor.
The tandem of Adamson and Owens at the point guard position has worked well enough at this point in the season. Owens has the ability to get to the hole, and Adamson’s quickness makes her tough to guard.

Questions heading into 2014
The Lady Wildcats have a set formula in place. As long as Lawson, Kelley and Russell are healthy, BRHS will have a chance to win every game it suits up for.
However, with no known depth behind either player should one of them go down, keeping those three healthy will be something BRHS has to do.
In addition, the team has to get consistent production from the second unit. The Lady Wildcats could run into a team that can effectively neutralize the three seniors, and if that’s the case, the rest of the squad has to be ready to contribute.

Next game
BRHS plays at Marbury High School Jan. 3.