The First Presbyterian Lady Highlander varsity basketball squad may only be three years old, but they have a lot of experience on the court. With several of her players entering eighth grade, Lady Highlander coach Rosby Fraiser said they are a cohesive group likely to surprise their opponents this season.
The coach said she has T’era Alston returning and expects her to forge ahead as the team leader. Fraiser also said she will draw from her incoming arsenal."A new key addition is Shaquoia Crockett (aka Coco) as well as Aliyah Wilson," the coach said. "We are also excited about Brianna Reece, who played on our junior varsity squad last season but this season she is eligible to play at the varsity level. She is a good shooter has good speed and shows good basketball leadership. She and Coco should be a good tandem in the back court."
Fraiser said former JV player Brooke Standard is also making the move to varsity.
"We are young, but they have been together and played together for a while now," the coach said. "So what we will be looking for is fewer mistakes and hopefully to be a real contender within our region. Our squad is always in comparison with the boys and that is what we are pushing for."
Fraiser said some of her varsity starters will likely log time on the JV court as well. She said it will help them earn game experience and hone their skills.
Junior varsity head coach Mike Brown said his team is developing, but they won’t know where they stand until their first game. He said his focus is more on teamwork than developing skills.
"They need to learn and understand how to play as a team," Brown said. "They understand the offense and the defense and with the skill level they are at right now … they are above some of the kids that are in a higher grade than they are, but it’s learning to play as a team."
He said his players understand offense and defense. They understand the importance of having individual skills and talent.
"But on the basketball court, there are five people and the skills you have must be blended in with the other players on the court in order to make a team," he said
Brown agrees with Fraiser — the teams are likely to surprise a few opponents this year.
Fraiser said there is one team she looks forward to playing.
"One game that was memorable was against Citizens Christian Academy," she said. "They’ve always been a tough contender for us and we have them on our schedule. We are looking forward to that but with our new squad we are looking to take everybody by surprise this year."
The Lady Highlander varsity team’s season starts this weekend at the Faith Baptist Tournament in Ludowici. They play Friday and Saturday, but the schedule isn’t available yet.