Updated Wed, Nov 21, 2012 1:57 pm
The Federal Hocking Lady Lancers return a young, experienced team that looks to improve upon their 5-16 season where they won their first sectional game in seven years.
Among the young group is Carley Tabler. The sophomore averaged 9.7 points a game her freshman year and progressed into the Lancers’ main scorer by the end of the season.
Tabler was particularly impressive in the first round of the playoffs. The guard scored 23 points in the contest to lead all scorers and helped her team upset Symmes Valley 47-43.
Head Coach Jeff McKibben is looking for his guard to step up not only her game, but also as a leader of his offense.
“We threw a lot on (Carley’s) shoulders. She matured and you could see it from the beginning of the season to the end of the season,” McKibben said. “My expectations of her are to step right in where she left off and get more of the leadership role of this basketball team.”
Tabler formed a dynamic duo last year with forward Cheyenne Singer. The junior provided a double-double nearly every night for the Lady Lancers and averaged 8.9 points along with 9.9 rebounds a game. Singer is tough down low for any opponent and continues to progress as she matures.
“Last year, Cheyenne focused more on assists and rebounds as opposed to her scoring because teams key in on her,” McKibben said. “I think the game has slowed down for her where she understands her role. She has to handle the basketball in order for us to be successful.”
McKibben’s team has only one senior on the roster, but her experience on the court under coach McKibben is the same as any freshman. Ashley Roberts transferred to Federal Hocking last season and had to sit out one year, but is set to play this season.
With Singer and Tabler returning after successful seasons and Roberts eligible to play, McKibben is anticipating a successful year for the Lancers. He believes his team is strong down low and at guard.
Their one weakness, though, is depth. As Federal Hocking continues to progress in building a program, they’re still expecting to play freshmen on the varsity squad. This is something that should improve in the future, but for now, McKibben has to play his young, inexperienced players to rest his starters.
“I'll have freshmen playing varsity basketball again. That's kind of rough on freshmen,” McKibben said. “We'll have a group of junior high kids coming up. I think there's seven or eight eighth graders that'll be up next year, so hopefully next year will be the year that we can actually have a true JV, varsity squad. I think that'll help the program out tremendously.”
While the future looks bright for the Lancers, they’re focused on trying to improve this season. With Tabler and Singer leading the way, Federal Hocking could see a major improvement this year.