Lady Generals expect to contend

| November 27, 2013

WEST LAFAYETTE – Doug Patterson is hoping the equation that success will lead to more success.

As head coach of the Ridgewood High School girls’ basketball team, Patterson has a foundation to build upon. Not only are several members of his team from the state final four volleyball squad, but are also a part of a hoops program that has obtained back-to-back appearances in the OHSAA district tournament under his tutelage.

“They understand that despite their success, they’re still going to have to work for what they get and coming into the season after all that winning I think they’re really going to want to,” Patterson said.

“We’ve already talked about having a goal of getting out of the district. We’re kind of in the situation where it’s as tough to get out of the league as it is to get out of the district but I think we have a legitimate shot at making a nice little tournament run.

In back-to-back seasons in the Division III district at Steubenville, the Lady Generals have been ousted by West Muskingum and Fort Frye in back-to-back seasons – the latter reaching the state final four.

“We’ve been to the districts twice and have not been to the regional I think they’re going to work harder to try to get to that point,” Patterson said.

In the way of league challenges, one school stands at the forefront as usual: Hiland.

However, the Lady Generals could be voted the most likely to challenge.

Top returning players senior Laura Frazee and junior Amanda Lowery are coming off a good volleyball year and Patterson believes they will be ready to continue rolling.”

“They are two key components of our team,” Patterson said. “We’re going to look up to them for our scoring and leadership.”

Frazee is a 6-foot senior wing/post player and Lowery a 6-1 junior wing. Lowery averaged 12.2 points per game last year while Frazee was third high on the team with 7.3 and is also the leading returning rebounder having averaged 5.5 a game last year.

Senior post Emily McCoy (5-11) and senior guard Erica Olinger (5-8) will be the floor General. A fourth senior, Brittany Guilliams, will provide valuable minutes off the bench as a 5-7 guard.

“Erica has definitely improved with her ball handling, has gotten stronger and her passing has gotten better,” said Patterson, “and Emily McCoy has worked hard all summer on her post game and now developed a much stronger inside presence. She understands her role. and knows what we expect from her.”

The other starting position will be selected by committed depending on the opponent and/or matchups.

Among those who will be in the rotation will be 5-7 junior Baylee Haynes, 6-1 sophomore post Kaitlyn Finton, 5-4 sophomore guard Morgan McDorman and 5-6 sophomore guard Kayla Sharier.

“So far I’m happy with the way things have gone,” Patterson said. “You can see that spark in their eye. They’re willing to learn and basically we’re just reviewing what we did last year and seven returning lettermen. I think we’ll be okay. I really do.

“Our size can be a factor if we can high low people, and outrebound them. We could potentially play three 6-footers on the floor at one time with McCoy, who is 5-11.”

The Lady Generals began the campaign against Inter-Valley Conference foe Sandy Valley and traveled to River View for a non-league tilt between county rivals. Other non-league contests will be Dover, East Knox, New Lexington and Tusky Valley. Another new face will be IVC newcomer East Canton.

“I feel Garaway, us and Sandy Valley battle for second place,” Patterson said. “Hiland everybody back and they’re tough, no doubt about it, but if we can withstand thieir pressure I think we could give them a battle.”

Providing Patterson with eons of coaching experience are assistance Darrell Ball and Kirby Shivers.

“Aside from one graduate (Kelsey Miller, now at Notre Dame College) it is the same group of kids as last year and they get along so well together,” Patterson added. “I really enjoy being around them. Playing time is no issue, scoring is no issue; they just want to win. That’s what’s most exciting about this team.”


Category: High School, Sports

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