October 29, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – The John A. Logan College women’s basketball team certainly lacks experience this season with only one returning player from last year’s roster, that being sophomore guard Haley Darnell of Goreville.

But don’t count the Lady Vols out of contention in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference.

Longtime assistant coach Amanda Shelby takes over the head coaching reins from the now-retired Marty Hawkins.

Shelby served as a paid assistant for eight years and was a volunteer assistant two additional years. She has more than paid her dues.

“I’m looking forward to this opportunity. It’s both fun and nerve-wracking at the same time,” she said. “We have a lot of freshmen on this team, but I think we’re coming around really well and will be ready to go on Saturday.”

Shelby acknowledged that this year is a rebuilding year of sorts.

“We only have two sophomores in Haley (5-foot-6 shooting guard from Goreville) and McKena (5-foot-9 shooting guard via the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Carbondale), plus a redshirt freshman transfer in Gabby Sanders (6-foot-3 post player from Glenwood), so we are short on college experience. But those three girls are doing a great job teaching our true freshmen what needs to be done, day in and day out.”

Incoming freshmen include: 5-foot-5 guard Ariel Crump of Brunswick, Ga.; 5-foot-9 forward Tiaunna Watkins of Hot Springs, Ark.; 5-foot-8 forward Cheyenne Abbadusky of Dowell; 5-foot point guard Sierra Frazier of Charleston, Mo.; 5-foot-8 forward Kaili Bacon of Carbondale; 5-foot-3 guard Dadriona Gorman of Hayti, Mo.; 5-foot-7 forward Juwanna Walker of Charleston, Mo.; 5-foot-8 guard Johnna Hines of Murphysboro; 5-foot-5 guard Aliah Acker of Hazelcrest; 5-foot-10 forward Ternaecia Ashley of Chattanooga, Tn.; and 5-foot-6 guard Alysha Hines of Murphysboro.

The Logan women finished 13-15 a year ago and placed fifth in the GRAC. Wabash Valley was the league champion last year and will again be a threat to win the conference.

The Vols open the season at home Saturday evening, beginning at 7 p.m. against John Wood Community College. Logan will also face Lincoln Land at 2 p.m. on Sunday.