After breakout year, Lady Panthers prepare for new season


Shelby Foster

Staff Writer Ty Odom sits down with senior Alyssa Angelo (right), and juniors Alice Anne Hudson (center) and Ashtyn Lally (left), to talk about the upcoming basketball season. Last season, the Lady Panthers were the runners up in the region tournament, and earned a state playoff spot. This year, the trio looks forward to making a deeper playoff run.

Ty Odom, Staff Writer

After finishing last season as the region runner-up and earning a state playoff berth, the Lady Panther varsity basketball team looks to build upon what they accomplished this past year.

The 2017-18 season saw the Panthers end the regular season with a 19-7 overall record, and a 10-2 region record, a significant improvement from the previous year’s 12-13 record.

Starr’s Mill retained a large portion of their core from the previous year, only losing two seniors, guard Caroline Broderick, who provided key minutes off the bench, and forward Emily Nieuwstraten, who made a fair share of clutch shots, and averaged seven points, 1.8 assists, and 4.1 rebounds. However, senior Alyssa Angelo and juniors Alice Anne Hudson and Ashtyn Lally will bring years of experience to the team while also bringing in younger players to fill the roles left by last season’s departures.

“Most of [the younger players] have the skill they need,” Angelo said. “They just have to learn the plays and how we do things and they will be fine.”

This young, but experienced, team will be led on offense by Hudson, who is the primary scoring option for the Lady Panthers. She had a great sophomore year, scoring 14.1 points per game and helping Starr’s Mill reach the region championship game with her performance during the playoffs, which included a half-court game winner against the Griffin Lady Bears. After her brother graduated last year, she looks to carry on the Hudson name in Panther basketball.

“I’ll try my best in every game,” Hudson said. “I will be more disciplined and focused during the season.”

Joining Hudson in the backcourt is Lally, who had games in which her shooting was unstoppable. Her 20-point performance against the Fayette County Tigers and a 21-point outing against the Whitewater Wildcats showed what she brings to the table, which is points in bunches. As an undersized guard, her ability to put the ball in the basket combined with her quickness have helped keep the Mill in close games during the season.

“I think I’ll take advantage of [my size],” Lally said. “I’ll hit the open shots and get the ball into the post.”

Completing the core trio is Angelo, who is a tri-sport athlete, playing softball and lacrosse in addition to playing basketball since her freshman year. Last season, she contributed to the team with her leadership skills along with her playmaking, rebounding, and defensive abilities, averaging five points, 2.9 assists, 4.6 rebounds, and two steals per game

When asked about the transition from softball to basketball, Angelo said, “I’m used to it, I’ve been doing it for the past three years, but I definitely need to get in shape and get used to holding a basketball again.”

The Lady Panthers’ first home game is Nov. 27 against the East Coweta Indians. Tip-off is at 6 p.m.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email