Lady Rebels Look Towards Youth and Athleticism This Season
HILLSBORO - Coming off a 15-15 season, the 2013-14 Hill College Lady Rebels have a lot of new faces and a couple of familiar ones.
“We have a very young team with 11 newcomers,” Second-year Head Coach Scott Hyland said. “That said, our talent level and athleticism is much higher than last year and I feel we will progress throughout the season. The key is being at our best come January and February when we are in conference play. “
The Lady Rebels will look at three different freshmen, Niniva Taito, Brittany Johnson (Class 2A All-State as a junior) and Ke’Andrea Shed, at the point guard position this season.
“All three bring different dynamics to our team,” Hyland said. “Brittany can really shoot it well and is a solid defender. Niniva is a strong attacker and steady ball handler that can knock down the open three-pointer. Ke’Andrea is a slasher. All three are learning on the fly and making good progress.”
The two returners from last season will help anchor what is probably the strongest area for the Lady Rebels which is the wing position. Jasmine Lopez and Kierra Davis both saw plenty of playing time last year, predominantly coming off the bench. Lopez averaged 5.93 points per game last season while shooting 31.4% from the three-point line on 33-105 shooting while Davis chipped in 3.93 points per game and 2.31 rebounds per game while being one of the team’s top defenders.
“Both Jasmine and Kierra bring great leadership to our program and can have a big impact on the game,” Hyland added. “Jasmine can stretch the defense with her shooting ability which opens up the floor for others to attack the basket. Kierra can be that “lockdown” defender for us. She can guard multiple spots on the floor and really gets out on the break and attacks the basket.”
The freshmen wings are talented with Brianna Cribb (Class 3A All-State), Jenna Davis, Bria Jackson and Jordan Mitchell.
“Brianna and Jenna are both strong and athletic wings that attack the basket well and are strong rebounders, but their strongest asset may be there defensive abilities,” Hyland said. “Jordan is another shooter that can stretch the defense and adds solid defensive play while Jackson as an athletic slasher that can hit the three-pointer and brings solid ball handling. I really like our wings as we have a nice balance of shooting, ball handling and attacking ability while also bringing solid defensive play.”
The Lady Rebels have added four new post players to the mix in Taylor Moore, Shuntay Raglin, Christi Holt and Erika Brown.
“We are definitely a lot taller than last year,” Hyland added. “Taylor has looked strong early. The 6-1, Class A All-State and State Champion performer is a solid scorer around the basket and rebounder who has the ability to step out away from the basket with range to the three-point line. Shuntay adds strength and athleticism to the post. She is a strong rebounder and positions herself well. Raglin is making good improvement in finishing around the basket and shows great promise.Erika and Christi bring size to our program. Both bring positive attributes as Christi is a shot blocking threat while Erika brings rebounding and outlets the ball quick to start our break. Both are progressing offensively and could become solid threats on the offensive end by conference play.”
The non-conference schedule was set up with our youth and inexperience in mind, but there will be some challenges. Hill hosts #6 Blinn on November 4, and have a stretch mid-November to early December where they play Division I foes Jacksonville, Western Texas (twice) and New Mexico JC before finishing up at Blinn on December 2. Once again, Weatherford will be the team to beat in conference as they feature three All-Americans.
For more information on the Lady Rebel basketball team, visit www.hillcollege.edu/athletics/.