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Friday, May 6, 2016

Viqueens loaded with youth, veteran talent

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Coach Allison Martin enters the 2012-2013 season with a roster stocked with a balanced mixture of youth and veteran talent and high expectations that the blend will propel the Viqueens to a much more productive season on both sides of the ball.

The Purple and Gold struggled to put the ball in the basket on a consistent basis last season when they finished 9-20, 2-12 District 9-A and averaged around 40 points per game, but this year's squad brings a whole new outlook to the floor thanks to an infusion of much needed speed and quickness.

"We have a lot of younger players but we have a nice mix of veteran players that will lead the way," Viqueen coach Allison Martin said. "We fully expect that there will be some growing pains but our best basketball is sure to come as we grow and learn more about how to compete at the varsity level.

New experience

"Varsity play is a lot different than a lot of our kids are used to and we have learned a lot about how each kid handles different situations in our Hall of Fame games.

"We are playing a different style of game this year as we have a deeper roster and so we are able to get more kids into the rotation and have some fresher legs as the game wears on. Our freshman extremely quick to the ball and we will be as fast as anyone we play from baseline to baseline so we are going to push the ball.

"This year we have girls that can penetrate, people that can handle the ball and get it where it needs to be on the floor, outside shooters and we have an awesome post player so it should be fun to watch this bunch grow as a team."

Senior leaders

Community will depend heavily on senior and four-year starter Katie Leverette in the post.

The All-District performer brings a formidable presence but it is her willingness to involve her teammates in the offense that may be her biggest asset.

Fellow seniors Hannah Busbee and Kristen Ray will be counted on to be more offensive minded and the veterans are sure to be up to the task as they look to close out their careers on a winning note.

Fresh faces

Freshmen Sarah Pierce, Aliyah Segroves, Davie Barnes, and Jordan and Mercedes Huntley and Lacey Reed bring a winning attitude after dominating play as eighth graders last season.

Their baptism under fire and their growth into varsity play has already produced positive results for their fifth-year head coach. It will continue with a brutal stretch of district games that will include three road trips out of four games played consecutively against Moore County, welcome Cascade to Unionville, and then back on the bus to Fayetteville, and MTCS.

Significantly, the Viqueens competition in three games during the Hall of Fame series finished with three losses, though all were within a few points and all were on the road last week. They gave 2A opponent Dekalb County all they wanted in their gym before succumbing 52-47 in the closing minutes.

Learning moments

"We played very well for the most part," Martin said. "We took the opportunity to throw a lot of our younger kids into the fire to see how they were going to handle certain pressure or react in the closing minutes of games when we normally would play our more seasoned players.

"We learned a lot about our team and the kids and we were very competitive in hostile environments in the process. I am pleased with where we are at this point and we are only going to get better."

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