Ridgewood girls have new look

| November 28, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE – A program that has always boasted strong guard play, the Ridgewood High School girls’ basketball team will look to the inside for success as the 2012-13 season unfolds.

The Lady Generals have five players who figure to have prominent roles who stand 5-foot-9 or taller, including a trio of 6-footers.

The lone senior, Kelsey Miller stands at 6-1 and was a go-to player in the paint a year ago when she averaged 10 points and 10 rebounds per game on her way to earning second team all-district laurels.

“Kelsey worked so hard since last year,” said Patterson. “She was playing AAU ball and was in the gym whenever she could get in to shoot. I’ve never had a girl work as hard as she has and to be so dedicated to becoming a good ball player has rubbed off on the other players.”

Another returning starter, 6-foot junior Laura Frazee, contributed eight points and eight rebounds. She was an all-district selection a year ago.

The remaining three positions have been vacated via graduation, including All-Ohioan Kayla Tedrick and her 1,149 career points, point guard Alayna Wright, wing player Ali Lusk, and top reserve Roxanne Thursby.

“They were the key to our success,” said Patterson. “They knew what they had to do and went in and did a good job.”

That class led the way to a 15-8 record and Ridgewood’s first sectional tournament title since 1985 before falling 41-39 to West Muskingum in the district semifinal at Steubenville High School.

“We’re going to be a completely different team than we’ve ever been before,” Patterson said. “We’ve always ran a lot of motion stuff with our guards and we’re not going to be a pressing team.

“It’s going to be a slower-paced game than in the past. We’re just going to try to get it down to our post players. Everybody can handle the ball and I believe that with size, if teams are going to beat us, they’ll have to do it from the outside.”

Hoping to fulfill the roles left open will be 5-11 junior Emily McCoy, 5-9 junior Erica Olinger, 5-7 guard Brittany Guilliams, 6-foot sophomore Amanda Lowery, and 5-4 guard Baylee Haynes.

McCoy and Lowery will be looked upon to rebound and defend while Olinger, Guilliams and Haynes have been working hard to solidify the guard position. Guilliams is the only non-letter winner among the group, but will be vying for one this season.

“We have always had solid guards, and these girls are working hard to continue that tradition,” Patterson said. “I can see lots of improvement since we started. They’re stepping up and they know their role.”

Others who may end up in the rotation are a trio of freshmen, including 6-1 Kaitlyn Finton, 5-3 Morgan McDorman and 5-2 Kayla Sharier.

Patterson sees Hiland as the favorite to win the Inter-Valley Conference, but also expects Strasburg, Garaway, and his Lady Generals to be in the hunt.

“The kids are excited,” Patterson said. “They know that after 27 years, we finally won our sectional and their goal is to go a little further and maybe make it to the district championship. That has us geared up.

“I’ve liked all of our teams, but this one I think will impress some people. I’m really confident in this team. They work really hard and they want to be successful.”

The Lady Generals will begin the season on Wednesday, Nov. 28 as they host Sandy Valley and will then host River View on Saturday, Dec. 1.

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