West Jessamine won only five games a year ago with losing streaks as long as 12 games.
However, the Lady Colts bring back a lot of experience this year having only lost one player — Erin Conner — and gaining back a former player in Rebekah Hulsing.
Hulsing returns to the team after sitting out her junior year. She showed flashes of greatness as a sophomore and could be an integral piece in this year’s team.
“She’s rusty on some fundamental stuff, but you can’t take away that she’s one of the best athletes in the school,” coach Stephen Greene said.
West returns two of its better scorers from last year in Shelby Hawkins and Ashlee Rose.
Greene said Emma Baxter has really stepped it up and been able to score this year as well.
The Lady Colts feature seven seniors and will go 10 deep on most nights.
“This group has played together for a very long time,” Greene said. “There’s a lot of experience not just on the court but on the court together.”
With a number of options to build around, West is still striving to find the perfect fit to put the court each night. Greene said not only will December be a month to work on finding a good rotation, but the process will continue throughout the year and into February.
Greene has been happy with how everyone has come along.
“Kendall Anderson (a senior) has come along a lot more than I thought she would,” he said. “She’s done really well as far as getting things done in practice.”
Joanna Cumbie and Rachel Monell have also emerged as good players as sophomores.
Transition will be key for West Jessamine. It feels that it should be able to get some good looks and score well if it can get ahead of the defense in transition.
“Historically, we’ve had a problem getting the ball in the basket, so we have to be able to create some more opportunities,” Greene said.
Last season, West averaged 46.25 points per game — third-lowest in the region. In the 2010-2011 season, West averaged 37.5 points per game — worst in the region. West was also last in the 2009-2010 season.
The Lady Colts hope to pressure the ball more and get turnovers that will lead to easy baskets.
West Jessamine is a very balanced team that can have a lot of moving parts as most players can play multiple positions.
“Ashlee Rose is one such player ... she can play pretty much any position on the floor,” Greene said. “She’s quick with the ball; she’s strong and has size inside.”
Baxter is also a physical player for her size and can finish with either hand, according to Greene.
West Jessamine’s biggest obstacle in past seasons has been consistency — whether it be from the first quarter to the fourth or the first game to the last.
“We can look like a really good team for a little bit, but then we’ll just revert back to our old ways,” Greene said. “We have to be consistent in our output this year.”
Senior Allison Mims will miss the first part of the season with an injured hand.
West Jessamine opens the season Dec. 1 at home against Western Hills at 2 p.m.