Heber Springs Lady Panthers
October 30, 2011
Coach: Jamey Riddle (seven years)
Assistant coach: Jamison Ingram
Last year’s record: 25-6 — 1st in conference
Returning starters: Magen LaRosa (5-10/ improved post)
Best inside players: LaRosa, a senior, averaged 9 points per game and “is the most experienced coming back for us,” Riddle said. “I’ve had some really good post players in the past. She has been able to work against some of [them], so she’s really improved and has gotten a lot stronger. She’ll be the one that we’re looking to go to inside.”
Best outside players: Devrie Attendorn (junior guard) will contribute to the outside game. Riddle said Attendorn played off and on last season, so she does have a little bit of experience. “We’ll be relying heavily on her to just run the offenses,” Riddle said. “I think one thing that will help her a little bit is, her shot has come around a little bit, so she’s shooting balls a little bit better.”
How do you think you will match/exceed/fall short of your success from last year? Coach Riddle said it will be tough to exceed the great success from last year’s season, but with the way the girls are practicing and the sophomores are stepping up, they should have a good chance. “Hopefully, if they can get the confidence early and kind of find their role on the team, you never know what will happen,” he said. “It will be hard to match last year, but I think this bunch can do it.”
Strengths of the team: While the Lady Panthers have been hard at work at practice, it’s hard to know what their real strengths are because of their lack of experience. “I just know coming off practice right now and the way they’ve been working,” Riddle said, “they’re not afraid to be committed to each other and play hard.”
Weaknesses of the team: Graduating almost all five starters from a strong team last year and returning just three players, the team has a lack of experience. “[It’s about] getting the sophomores acclimated to senior high school basketball,” Riddle said, “getting them caught up to the speed.”
Games to watch: Riddle said all of the conference games will be good to watch. “As far as conference, it’s pretty much wide open,” he said. “I don’t really see anybody in our conference not being able to compete for the conference championship.”
Toughest opponent: While all conference teams will be strong opponents, Riddle said Southside Batesville will be tough.
College prospects: LaRosa has a lot of potential to be a college prospect, but it just depends on if she’s willing to push herself a little bit more, the coach said.