Shepherd women need consistent scorers, individual defense
SHEPHERDSTOWN — Kayla Tibbs, Kari Lankford and Sydney Clayton can probably supply the Shepherd women with 35-to-40 points a game. Will the Rams have any others who could average eight points per outing? How about the freshmen or first-year players on Coach Jenna Eckleberry’s roster?
Leadership will be important to the Rams, who won’t have all-time leading scorer Morgan Arden this season.
Always concerns for the Rams are individual defense, team defense and the pressure defense applied by Glenville and possibly others.
Shepherd was 15-15 overall last season.
There are five reserves from last season — Sydney Shaw, Taraessha Henderson, Liz Moormann, Lauren Reed and Marley McLaughlin that will likely see meaningful minutes. Can they provide rebounding, defensive help or enough scoring punch?
The freshmen or first-year roster additions are 5-foot-8 Hannah Myers from York, Pa., 5-foot-11 Madi White from Woodgrove High in Virginia, 5-foot-9 Angela Delorenzo from Fairmont and 6-foot Gemma Mochi, who was home schooled.
Tibbs scored 11 points a game, while Lankford averaged 9.7 points and 7.2 rebounds an outing. Clayton had 13 starts in the 30-game season and averaged 7.5 points and 7 rebounds.
Beginning this afternoon at 3 p.m., the Rams jump-start the season with six consecutive home games, including conference games against West Virginia State (Nov. 17), Charleston (Nov. 19) and West Virginia Wesleyan (Nov. 28).
Todays opponent in a two-day tournament at the Butcher Center is Winston-Salem State, with a 3 p.m. tip-off. Tomorrow the Rams will see another CIAA opponent in Shaw. That game is slated for 2 p.m. California (Pa.) stops by the Butcher Center on Nov. 14 for a 5:30 p.m. game.
Familiar teams predicted to carve up the Mountain East Conference are Glenville, West Virginia State and Notre Dame. Glenville and West Virginia State often utilize full-court pressure defenses that Shepherd has been troubled by in the immediate past.
A sure-fire way to show improvement would be to find a point guard who might be impervious to pressure and bring some confidence to the Shepherd back court.
This afternoon it starts. What will the late-season picture show us, when the Rams finish out their final season in the MEC?