The Mount Union girls’ basketball team worked very hard last winter, solidifying the Trojans team only to suffer a setback in the early going of the season. They came into practice with the task of restructuring the lineup after two starters from last season have come up with injuries that are preventing them from picking up where they left off last season.
The Trojan roster consists of 16 players, including eight seniors, a junior, four sophomores and three freshmen. There are seven returning letter winners
They lost two starters to graduation in the spring in point guard Laiken Turner and Diana Roher, a hard-playing defensive player. The lineup will not see letter winner Kadyn Crisswell, a returning sophomore who the Trojans expected to do well this season will be out for the season due to injury. Keairra Worthy, the Trojans, senior forward who scored all last season, will be out with a summer basketball injury.
Alix Sellers, starting her fourth season leading the Blue and Gold. Last season, the Trojans were 12-10, missing the playoffs by a fraction of a point. Sellers has a career career of 22-44.
Assisting Sellers this season is Olivia Halfpenny, Mike Sellers and Crystal Worthy. Tracy Cornelius and Gina Sellers are leading the junior high program.
“We are looking at different combinations right now to see what team we will put on the floor,” stated Sellers. “We are looking at different players to handle the ball and work at point guard. Practice has been a pleasure with the team coming in picking up right where they left off last season with the attitude that they want something more. They are showing the drive that it takes to improve.”
They are working on ball handling and more of an offensive team. They are working on using more pressure on defense eliminating fouls and turnovers. “Turnovers killed us last season along with the large number of fouls that we committed,” added Sellers.
The Trojans have seven letter winners on the squad with Kyra Hand being expected to step up on the floor and lead the team. Hand will see time at the point and has a very good outside shot, which will be a big plus.
Tyonna Hartley is a senior letter winner who was injured part of last season. Hartley is expected to continue to work the glass at both ends of the floor and will score off the rebound on offense.
Keairra Worthy is a senior letter winner who is expected to see the floor mid-season, picking up where she left off last winter.
Morgan Brumbaugh is a returning sophomore letter winner who will see duty at both the guard and forward positions this season until the lineup becomes solid.
Crisswell is also a sophomore letter winner who will not see the floor this season due to the injury earlier in the school year. Crisswell will be missed as a key component of the Trojan lineup.
Camille Posey is a sophomore letter winner who will pick up where Roher left off on defense. Posey will become more confident and will score for the Trojans this season.
Karrigan Woodward is also a returning letter winner, is a sophomore who has the ability to become open on the floor and score. She is expected to continue to score.
Kelsey Hoffmaster, a senior who has a very good defensive game is expected to continue to improve as a shooter.
The Trojans have three freshmen on the team who are very positive additions to the roster. “These players were well coached early and will bring a lot to the floor,” said Sellers.
The Trojans’ goals are to have a winning season, getting to the playoffs at the end. They want to become better at finishing under the glass and get better against the press. The team is committed to playing for all four quarters and not getting into the situation of playing from behind late in the game. “Conditioning is an area we are working on to that from happening this season,” said Sellers. “We must also learn to play against the clock in close games.
“The ability is here and all we need to do is get the effort that we see in practice converted to the floor in competition. If we play like we practice, we will continue to improve and turn into a very cohesive team.”
The Trojans will face two high powered teams in the Inter-County Conference North this season in state runnerup Juniata Valley and state champion Bellwood-Antis.
“The ICC is always tough competition and we will see where we are after we get the lineup finalized and get on the floor.” concluded Sellers.
The Trojans open their season tonight at McConnellsburg in a non-league contest.