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Youthful Falcons adjusting to play without their leader

Posted 2017-12-14 By Larry Beazley

     If Central girls basketball coach Bryan Scott can pull off a winning season he’ll have to do it with youth.

    Scott and the Falcons have but one senior on the roster, and the team is reeling from the loss to graduation of all-region Tamra Scott, the coach’s daughter, now playing at the college level.

    The Falcons lost their first two games of the season, first to East Rockingham and then in overtime to Stonewall Jackson before getting that first and critical win over Page County, a team that has struggled mightily thus far.

    Coach Scott’s starting lineup includes one senior, two juniors and two sophomores, not exactly a basket of experience.

    Senior Ayanna Strother has accepted the challenge of leading the team.  She is the go-to girl when the Falcons need a score and is a calming influence in a tight game.

    Scott says that juniors Kendall Herbaugh and Maria Marston have both been on top of their game early on.  They have played solid defense and are leading the team in scoring.

    A fourth starter is sophomore Maya Faye-Williams, a guard credited with speed and scoring skills.

    Sophomore center Tycara Scott, at 6-1, holds down the middle for Central.  With a tall center and experienced guards, Coach Scott would like to run his offense inside out and take advantage of Tycara’s height and the team’s three-point shooting.

    First off the bench for the Falcons are senior guards Brooke Ryman and Bailey Gale and junior forward Alexandra Mantz, a strong rebounder.

Senior guard Sarah Grace Schechtel and freshman Sydney Putman have had playing time.

    Rounding out the Falcons squad are juniors Kamryn Fultz, Olivia Keller and Shauntae Acevedo.

    Coach Scott is not sure how deep he will go once he settles on a player rotation.

    On defense, Scott plans to use both the man-to man and the zone, occasionally trap the ball and maybe go back to-the full court press that worked so well two years ago in his first season.

     “Our ball movement is improving, but we must cut down on our turnovers…there are too many unforced turnovers,” Scott said this week.

     The Falcons in the early season have started slowly and not hit a scoring stride until the second half and have suffered foul trouble, particularly among players on the inside.

    Scott thinks those problems will go away later in the season.