2009-2010 Basketball: A.L. Brown girls preview
By Mike London
KANNAPOLIS ó The A.L. Brown girls have taken their lumps the past three seasons ó 7-16, 6-17 and 2-18 ó but payback may be just around the corner for coach Tosha Robinson and her team.
The Wonders are as quick as ever, and for a change they have plenty of experience and some size. They also have plenty of motivation to improve on last season’s dismal showing in the SPC.
“We’ve learned to depend on each other and play as a team better,” Robinson said. “The ladies really want it this time, and they’ve worked very hard in the offseason.”
Plenty of maturity was on display last Thursday, as Brown opened with an impressive 76-34 road victory at South Rowan, the Wonders’ biggest offensive explosion in recent memory. The romp was fueled by aggressive steals and tenacious offensive rebounding.
The Wonders played hard ó and well. South coach Jarrod Smith said it’s the best Brown team he’s seen in years.
Top returners for the Wonders include Jasmine McCauley, Jayana Lott, Briana McGuine, Jasmine Parker, Sara Tuttle and Zebresha Blakeney.
Robinson also expects athletic freshmen Aaliyah Spears, who carved out quite a reputation in AAU and middle school, to make an immediate impact.
“It’s hard to say who our leaders will be this season because I think we have a lot of girls who will come through on different nights,” Robinson said.
McGuine is a scorer and showed it with 20 points from all over the floor opening night. McCauley is a dependable scorer, and Tuttle is a big 3-point threat who also handles the ball and passes well.
Blakeney and Spears bring a ton of quickness to the table and should get steals and easy buckets off pressure defense.
Parker provides most of the team’s height and has improved her hands and shooting touch. She scored 10 points opening night and owned the glass at times.
Lott brings versatility to the table and is a calm, steady player.
“Jayana can do everything, and she can play any position for us,” Robinson said.
Whether this team is ready to challenge the top teams in the SPC remains to be seen, but 7-16, 6-17 and 2-18 should be just a memory.