Last season: 11-16 (Lost in 43rd District semifinals to Paul Laurence Dunbar)
Coach: Scott True Sr.
Three key contributors
Jay Ballard: A sophomore guard who averaged 8.1 points as a freshman is the Knights’ leading returning scorer. “Jay’s going to play college somewhere at some point. She’s going to be a really good player for us,” True said. “She works her tail off. She’s a gym rat. She’s in here all the time. She shoots the ball really well. … She’s our vocal leader and our emotional leader, and you’ll see that.”
Ashley Frebis: A junior guard who averaged 5.8 points and 3.8 rebounds. “She’s got to step into a bigger role on the offensive end,” True said. “She’s worked really hard on her game, and I think you’ll see that improve for her this year. She’ll surprise some people.”
Maylo Given: The sophomore forward will step into a “much larger” role this year,” True said. “We’ve really got to have her on the offensive end and on the boards. She’s that power forward for us that’s got to get down there. She’s a little undersized, but she’s got to get in there and rebound for us.”
Others to watch
Junior Olivia Haines takes over point guard duties starting varsity for the first time. “She played some varsity last year, but not as a starter and she probably had some more pieces around her,” True said. “But she’ll take that point guard role, and we really need her to step in and get our offense started and get us settled.” Junior forwards Maya Jazdzewski and Maggie Brierly will be expected to hold down the post. “That’s going to put a lot of pressure on them because they are both about 5-5/5-6. They’ve got to go rebound and post for us because we’re just small.”
Games you gotta see
District foes Tates Creek (Jan. 6, 20) and Lexington Christian (Jan. 4, Feb. 3) will show whether the young Knights can compete for a chance at making it to the 11th Region Tournament.
The loss of senior Laken Pinkerman to an ACL injury in preseason leaves True with no seniors on this season’s roster for the first time in his 22 years as a coach. True said the team has weathered the setback. “She’s (Laken) been a big part of the reason they’ve been positive. … She gave a great speech to them the day after it happened, which has really impacted them more than anything I can say.”
On preseason injuries: “We’ve had a rough start to our preseason. … Laken Pinkerman was our big loss. She was our leading returning rebounder, second returning leading scorer. She tore her ACL about three weeks ago.”
Young team: “We’ll be young, but the girls are working hard. We’ll play eight or nine people on a given night. Our numbers are up throughout the program, so, we’re excited about that.”
Jay Ballard: “I’m looking forward to being a big part of this team and the team being a big part of the program and just playing with my best friends. … Our big focus is just having fun as a team and getting to know each other and also working on being confident in each other and helping each other up.”
Ashley Frebis: “I think we’ve stepped up the intensity, and we’ve realized that we have to play for each other, and I think that’s really been the main thing. … I think we have the capability to beat anyone.”
Maylo Given: “I think we’re going to surprise some people this season. … I think they’re not expecting us to be as good as we could be, so I think we’re going to shock a lot of people and hopefully do pretty well.”