High School Sports

Girls’ basketball preview: Paul Dunbar ready to ‘flip the record’

Dunbar guards talk 2016 Bulldogs

Mashayla Cecil and Autumn Herriford discuss team chemistry, goals for the year
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Mashayla Cecil and Autumn Herriford discuss team chemistry, goals for the year

Last season: 11-19 (lost to Henry Clay in first round of the 11th Region Tournament)

Coach: Nick Runyon (second year)

Three key contributors

Mashayla Cecil: 5-foot-6 junior guard led the Bulldogs in scoring last season at 19.8 points per game. She was the team’s top threat from long range, knocking down 71 three-pointers and shooting 34.1 percent from beyond the arc. She shot a team-best 76.3 percent from the foul line. Runyon said Cecil is an extension of the coaching staff with whom he has a “great level of trust.”

Autumn Herriford: 5-11 senior can play either forward position and was second on the team in both scoring and rebounding last year, averaging 12.2 points and 6.7 boards per game. Runyon said both Herriford and Cecil are gym rats who “dedicate themselves to the game and love to play.” Herriford said after the struggles of last season the Bulldogs’ first goal this year is to “flip the record around.”

Peyton Humphreys: 5-8 junior forward led the Bulldogs in rebounding last year at 6.8 per game. She was third in scoring at 5.6 points per game.

Others to watch

Anaiyah Cotton is a 5-8 junior forward who was one of four Bulldogs to play in all 30 games last season. She averaged 3.6 points and was third on the team with 6.3 rebounds per game. Cheyanne Fullwood also played in all 30 games last year, averaging 1.9 points and 3.3 rebounds. Runyon said Cotton and Fullwood will both have “expanded roles on offense this year.” Symone Franklin is a senior who Runyon calls a “quiet leader who comes in and sets an example every day.”

Games you gotta see

Dunbar opens 43rd District play at home against Tates Creek on Dec. 14 The Bulldogs swept both contests against the Commodores last year. They’ll face Lafayette at least twice, on the road on Jan. 5 and at home on Jan. 24. The Generals went 3-0 against Dunbar last season, winning each contest by double figures. The Bulldogs play in the Traditional Bank Holiday Classic at Lexington Catholic, Dec. 19-23.

Fast facts

Mashayla Cecil needs just 70 points to join Dunbar’s 1,000-point club. ... The Bulldogs have made it to the semifinals of the Sweet Sixteen twice, in 1997 and 2012.

Josh Sullivan: 859-231-3225, @sullyjosh

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