Home USA News WHS girls combine youth with experience – Washington Daily News

WHS girls combine youth with experience – Washington Daily News

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The WHS girls combine youth with experience

Posted at 8:10 am Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Second-year head coach Will Tyson recognized a few familiar faces when he walked into Dave Smith’s gym a few weeks ago for his first basketball practice of the season.

Tyson, who took over as the women’s basketball coach on an interim basis last fall before being hired to coach the varsity baseball team this spring, decided to return after a 5-15 season because of his connection with the returning players.

“I wasn’t planning on going back after I got the baseball job, but a few girls asked me to,” Tyson said. “I told them it was my wife’s decision, so they came up to her at our banquet last winter and gave her a big hug. That’s why I came back.”

Tyson recognized the potential of his young teams despite their record and the fact that the Eastern Plains Conference is a very competitive women’s league with the recent success of Farmville Central and North Pitt.

“Our girls have been through a lot with a few coaching changes and I would like to give them some stability at least this season,” Tyson said. “We have some talented players coming back and some new ones that have potential, so we’ll see what happens.”

Returning players include seniors Haley Wheatley and Megan Jensen, junior forward Trinity Burke and sophomore point guard Avery Thomas.

Wheatley led the team in scoring, averaging nine points per game, and is the leading rebounder.

“This is her year to shine and I expect her to dominate down low,” Tyson said. “She’s gotten stronger and is capable of double-doubles every night.”

The Pam Pack could benefit from three seniors making the team for the first time. Kathryn Pollock, who qualified for the state tennis championships two years in a row, all-conference volleyball player Sarah Hedrick and all-conference softball player Shelley Chrisman joined the team.

“I was helped by baseball players who convinced them to come out,” Tyson said. “We needed depth because of the injuries and these are three terrific athletes with some height to help us off the bench. I see them playing a few minutes every game when our starters need a break.”

Senior Quinique Mooney returns after playing as a sophomore and senior soccer player Jesmeli Lugo is playing for the first time.

Tyson said Farmville Central and North Pitt remain the teams to beat, but Tyson believes the rest of the league is very competitive.

“I’m more prepared, so our practices are more productive, which puts us a lot ahead of last year,” Tyson said. “Avery (Thomas) is more comfortable running the point and with our plays. If he and Haley can stay out of foul trouble, we should be fine most games. We improved a lot at the end of last season and it would be great to start faster.”

Washington opened at home against First Flight late Tuesday and plays at JH Rose on Thursday.

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