With the entirety of the 2021 roster returning and some new faces that will provide valuable experience, the Lady Devils are looking to shake things up in the 9th District and 3rd Region.
Owensboro finished the 2021 campaign with a 13-16 overall record, having its postseason cut short by Owensboro Catholic in the first round of the 9th District Tournament. Star junior guard A’Lyrica Hughes will be back in action to lead the team this year, following a season in which she led the Lady Devils in points per game (15.1), rebounds per game (8.6), assists and steals en route to becoming the 9th District Player of the Year.
Seniors Chandler Worth and Lindsey Gibson, as well as freshman Unique Carter-Swanagan will be some key returning players to partner with Hughes again this season, while they also welcome some new faces.
“This year we welcome transfers K’Asia Palmer (Apollo) and CJ Paige (Daviess County) that will bring varsity experience to us for their senior seasons,” Head Coach Jansen Locher said. “Aynari Carbon (Freshman) and Keeley Harris (Sophomore) both had great summers and will look to make an impact at the varsity level this upcoming season.”
Locher said that Owensboro had a very successful summer, as the team was able to gel on and off the court over that period of time. They spent three days competing at Western Kentucky University and are hoping to carry the success they had at the junior varsity and varsity levels into this year.
In order to do just that, Locher said that they will have to focus on rebounding on both ends of the floor, pressuring teams and causing chaos defensively, while also having successful possessions in half-court offense.
“We really need to improve in our rebounding and converting on the offensive end,” Locher said. “We feel like we got a lot of shots that we wanted last year, but we just didn’t convert at a high-enough percentage. We also have to be better as a team from the free-throw line. Those points are crucial to winning close games down the stretch.”
With much more depth on the roster coming into this season, Locher hopes that they can steadily improve day in and day out en route to a strong regular season and long 2022 postseason run.
“As always, we expect to compete in a very competitive 9th district and hopefully make a run at the 3rd region tournament,” Locher said. “We have the talent and the experience to be competitive in every game that we play this season. We expect to get better each practice and each game, and hopefully we will be playing our best basketball at the end of the season.”