By TYLER HENRY
Salina Post contributor
Following a gritty 7-14 season, the Salina South girl’s basketball team will look to continue moving the needle in the right direction, and rise above .500 for the first time since 2012-13.
The Lady Cougars will be led once again by Justin Ebert, who enters his second season as head coach, and 15th with Salina South.
Last spring, the Cougars graduated a pair of big seniors in Sydney Peterson and Kylie Arnold but will return four seniors for the new campaign, to fill out a starting five that should look something like this come tip-off.
PG- Anahyssa Nash
G- Giselle Nash
G- Elena Herbal
G- Lauren Harris
P- Montanna Packett
Salina South will also look for big minutes off the bench from Paityn Fritz, Tamia Cheeks, Julissa Nash, and Mercedes Tarver, along with several other key underclassmen.
Ahead of the opening tip, we had a chance to speak with Coach Ebert and get his thoughts on his Lady Cougars before the season begins.
Q: What were your overall thoughts on the 2021-22 campaign?
A: I feel our girls made vast improvements and became a competitive basketball team by the end of the season. With many new pieces, we took a little longer to hit our stride, but we were able to finish the year by winning some key games and competing with some very good basketball teams.
Q: How excited is everyone to get back on the floor and back to playing real games after a long offseason?
A: I think our girls are ready to play games and to see what kind of team we will be this season. We had an incredible off-season and feel that should help us be more ready to hit the ground running in game one this year. Our four Seniors are excited to start their final chapter and write their legacy into our program.
Q: Coming into the year what would you say is the biggest strength of this team?
A: Our biggest strength at this point is our overall depth. We have several girls that are competing and challenging for minutes on the varsity floor. Our practices have been much more competitive and a lot of girls are rising to the challenge to be key contributors this season. We will rely on several of them on different nights.
Q: What are the biggest question marks about this team as we head into the first few weeks?
A: With the depth we have, one of the biggest questions still left to be answered is who and when girls will get the opportunity to play. Figuring out our rotation and utilizing player strengths is something that will likely take time to sort out.
Q: What are the goals and expectations of this team for this 2022-23 campaign?
A: As a program, we are continuing to build each week. Our first goal is to start the season off right on Friday night against a tough Goddard Eisenhower team. As we look long-term, advancing in the SIT tournament and sub-state tournaments are always goals we set.
Salina South will open their season at home on Friday, December 2nd when the Lady Cougars welcome in Goddard-Eisenhower.
For continuing coverage of Cougar and Lady Cougar basketball all season long, stay tuned to the Salina Post