2009-2010 Basketball: Davie girls preview
By Brian Pitts
MOCKSVILLE ó Coach Debbie Evans is trying to rekindle the fire of Davie County varsity girls basketball.
Davie has flamed out in early February each of the past four years, finishing 8-16, 10-16, 8-15 and 10-17. Last year the War Eagles (10-17, 3-7) ended up tied for fourth out of six teams in the 4A CPC. They never won more than two in a row, and they only did that twice. They haven’t won a playoff game since 2005.
Grim times, indeed.
But Evans believes it’s time for Davie to ó at the very least ó surge to the .500 neighborhood, if not over the .500 hump. Six varsity returners are trying to regain Davie’s lost relevance.
“We’ve got to get all of them to buy in,” Evans said. “We’re trying to make a big push. We’ve had these eight- and 10-win seasons. Something’s got to change so we can get to .500 and above. We lost (six) games last year by less than seven points. We’re trying to get them all on the same page. It’s a work in progress, but I think we can do some good things if we’ll keep working.”
The roster includes seniors Kaycee Dixon, Ashley Smoot, Asia Steed, Maleia Stevenson and Elyssa Tucker; juniors Cara Hendricks, Taliah Holland and Myshia Turner; sophomores Janna Dixon and Laura Shelton; and freshmen Tia Clement and Amy Steller.
There’s still plenty of uncertainty around the team because the top returning scorer (Steed) averaged just 6.5 points. The top two scorers from last year are gone in Kellie Brown (9.3) and Sarah Evans (6.5). Janna Dixon is the No. 2 returning scorer at 4.9 points, but no other returner averaged as many as four points. The other four varsity returners are Kaycee Dixon, Smoot, Stevenson and Tucker.
Holland and Hendricks could be considered returners, although they have appeared in only four varsity games combined.
Point guard Janna Dixon played varsity as a freshman, so she should emerge as a rock.
“She got some valuable experience last year, and she’s continuing to get better,” Evans said.
Evans is excited about guards Kaycee Dixon (Janna’s older sister), Steller (a freshman) and Shelton (a sophomore). Steller led Ellis Middle with a 10.7 scoring average.
“I feel like we’ve got even more depth there this year,” Evans said. “Kaycee can certainly play there. Steller and Shelton are not true ones, but they’ve got some experience there. They lack varsity experience, but they’re both go-getters and I feel like they can not only give us depth but help push Janna in practice.”
Clement, a 5-10 freshman who can handle the ball as well as post up, appears to be the brightest talent in years. She showed huge potential at South Davie Middle, where she averaged 13.2 points but was at nearly 20 over the final three games. Clement became an overnight JV volleyball star this fall.
“Tia is ready to go,” Evans said. “Basketball is her thing, and I think she’s looking forward to getting her high-school career going. She’s looked strong.”
Steed, a 5-10 center, will be an integral part of the formula.
“Steed and Clement are working well inside,” she said. “Asia came on the last half of last year.”
Evans is banking on production from Stevenson, Holland, Hendricks, Tucker and Smoot at the forward spots.
“They can all rotate at three and four,” Evans said. “They all can drive to the basket, they can rebound and they can play defense. They’re competing with each other, and hopefully they help each other get better.”
Evans hopes it works out to where she can rotate a number of players, play man-to-man defense and make Davie a diverse team.
“We shouldn’t miss much of a beat with whoever we’ve got in there,” Evans said. “If we can rotate nine or 10 in there consistently, we’ll use the whole court and (try to) wear them out. Hopefully in the fourth quarter we’ll still be fresh. It may be a couple people one night (leading the team) and a couple different people another night.”
NOTES: Marnic Lewis is back as Evans’ assistant coach. A new assistant is Diane Hillyer. An English teacher, she came over from Forbush.