BY JOHN CONLEY
The pieces seem to be in place for Westside's Lady Renegades.
With most of last year's top players back and some good young talent coming in, WHS wants to make some noise in Charleston in March.
"Experience is going to work to our advantage," said Westside coach Jamie Lusk. "And our depth is a big plus. Any time you can bring girls off the bench and not lose a beat, it's great."
"Our goal is to win our sectional and regional and when we get to Charleston to win that first game," Lusk commented.
"After that we want to see what we can do," he continued.
Seniors Cheyanna Lusk and Tori Patrick and junior Morgan Spolarich are expected to provide leadership.
"I have high expectations for all of these girls, and I'm anxious to see how they do," Lusk stated.
Lusk, a senior point guard, made first team all-state last season.
"Cheyanna has a very high basketball IQ and has the game to play with anybody," he remarked. ""We want her to look for her shot more this year."
Patrick has always been deadly from the perimeter. Now she's becoming a more complete player. "She's a great shooter, but now she's starting to attack the basket. And if she gets fouled, she's a great foul shooter."
Spolarich "is by far our best finisher on the fast break," the coach noted. "And she's a very good defender."
Senior Mckinsey Davis "is probably our most improved player," commented Lusk. "She looks really good around the basket."
Hope Lester, a 6-1 freshman, "has been a great middle school player and played on the AAU team in Huntington last year," the coach pointed out. "She's extremely strong and athletic."
Sophomores Danielle Brown and Faith Davis "both can score and are really good defensive plaeyrs," Lusk said.
Twins Mackenzine and Megan Endicott "are both strong and tough defensive players. They'll help us with rebounding."
Seniors Taylor Brown ("very good shooter" and Kayla Adkins ("will come off the bench and give us some minutes") as well as sophomore Kristen Hash ("real good hustle") will contribute as well.
This years schedule include five-time defending AA champion Summers County and PikeView, the tam which upset Westside in the regionals last year. Logan and Mingo Central have been added as well.
"We have to have togetherness to reach our goals," the coach observed. "They need to work together and feed off each other."
"It takes a lot to get to Charleston," he said.