A-J girls' basketball team looks to improve
The Anna-Jonesboro Community High School girls’ basketball team finished 23-10 last season.
Lady Wildcats’ head coach Matt Denny would like to improve on that record this season with three starters returning.
The trio includes 5-7 senior guard Mikayla Bundren, 5-10 junior guard Jaylee Watkins and 5-6 sophomore guard Kristin Edmonds.
A player who saw quite a bit of playing time who is returning is 5-8 junior forward Anna Hess.
“We ought to be pretty solid this year,” Denny said. “We had a good first week of practice.”
A player who was injured early in the season last year and returning is 5-6 senior forward Raegan Cruse.
The other senior on the team is 5-8 forward Sydnie Ralls.
A junior is 5-6 guard Olivia Capel and a sophomore candidate is 5-11 center Campbell Belcher.
“Everybody can score,” Denny said. “Our defense ought to be pretty good, too. We ought to be pretty solid.”
Denny has loaded the schedule this season with non-conference games against Marion, Carbondale, Benton, Marshall County, Ky., and Saxony Lutheran of Missouri.
“We have a pretty tough non-conference schedule,” Denny said.
The Lady Wildcats were nipped 33-32 by Harrisburg in the regional championship last season. Denny would like to win a regional title with this year’s A-J squad.
Denny also looks for the Southern Illinois River-to-River Conference Mississippi Division to be loaded again this season.
“The big three, Carterville, Nashville and Pinckneyville, will be tough again,” Denny said.
“Sparta is getting better and Du Quoin is good again. Everybody is good in the conference. It’s going to be a battle.”
The Lady Wildcats are scheduled to open their season at Carbondale on Tuesday, Nov. 19.
A-J is set to open conference play at home against Nashville on Tuesday, Dec. 3.