By Chris Parker
Miller volleyball broke by way of and earned its first journey to the ultimate 4 within the fall. A lot of those self same gamers are hoping to assist the basketball crew break by way of and earn this system’s first journey to the ultimate 4 since ending third in 2010.
The crew will likely be led by a bunch of 4 juniors this yr.
“The juniors are a terrific group of women. They’ve performed collectively since they had been little and have a terrific bond. All 4 present one thing completely different to our crew’s success,” Miller head coach Hannah Wilkerson mentioned. “As juniors now, they’ve been by way of postseason play (in all sports activities they play), and so they perceive the significance of getting higher every day with the intention to attain their targets. They make everybody round them higher.”
Miller has posted back-to-back 25-6 seasons that included district titles and completed one recreation in need of the ultimate 4 in every season.
All-state choices Claudia Hadlock and Kaylee Helton return for his or her junior seasons.
Hadlock averaged 13.9 factors, 4.9 rebounds. 4.7 steals and 4.7 assists per recreation final yr. The steals and assists had been team-highs.
“We’re our greatest when she (Hadlock) is on the court docket. She is a really good participant that is aware of the best way to management a recreation. She will rating, create pictures for her teammates and be a wonderful defender. Claudia at all times does what it takes to win. She works onerous and at all times needs to get higher,” Wilkerson mentioned.
Helton led the crew in scoring (16.6 ppg) and rebounding (7.5 rpg) final yr.
“Kaylee’s power is her greatest asset. She might not be very tall, however undoubtedly performs huge. She does a terrific job of ending with contact. Final yr she was essentially the most constant participant we may at all times depend on her to make an enormous play offensively or defensively,” Wilkerson mentioned.
Hadlock and Helton set the tone for Miller.
“I count on them to at all times are available in to each apply and recreation with power. Their power is contagious and their teammates feed off them,” Wilkerson mentioned.
Payten Richardson and Ashten Kingsley make up the remainder of that core junior quartet.
Richardson earned second-team all-conference honors final yr after scoring 10.3 factors per recreation.
“Payten does a terrific job scoring from anyplace on the court docket,” Wilkerson mentioned. “Her velocity is her greatest power, which permits her to get to the basket and draw fouls simpler. She has repeatedly improved on her recreation. She does lots of particular person work within the low season. I search for her to have one other huge season.”
Kingsley was named honorable point out all-conference honors as a sophomore. She averaged 5.3 factors and 4.8 rebounds per recreation final yr.
“Ashten Kingsley is an enormous presence inside. She does lots of the soiled work that makes an impression in video games. She prevents lots of straightforward baskets and second possibilities together with her top and skill to rebound,” Wilkerson mentioned. “Offensively, she will be able to shoot inside or exterior. She has acquired so much stronger since freshman yr. I’m actually excited in regards to the yr she may have.”
Alyssa Hill and Haylie Schnake are two sophomores that every performed in at the least 26 video games as freshmen. Hill was the primary participant off the bench final yr. Wilkerson described her as one in every of their hardest gamers.
Senior Lili Merrick will make a direct impression after transferring in from Liberty Excessive Faculty.
Miller will look to make use of a powerful schedule that features the Carthage Match, Walnut Grove Vacation Match and the Stockton Match.
“Now we have a troublesome schedule which is what we needed. We wish to use these video games to get higher,” Wilkerson mentioned. “General, we now have mentally powerful and assured crew. Win the video games we should always, possibly win some you shouldn’t and be taught one thing from losses. I really feel our schedule will higher put together us for postseason play.”
Miller opens the season on Nov. 30 at Mansfield.