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By Jimmie Earls
Sun Sports Writer
The first 10 games of the Washington County Commanderettes’ season haven’t gone exactly to head coach Bernard Smalley plans, but there are signs of improvement as the team recovers during the winter break.
“We’re not happy with that 2-8 record,” said Smalley. “You’re not going to beat any teams shooting 16 percent. But over the last four games, there’s been a lot of improvement. Starting with Bethlehem, we shot the ball better, almost 48 percent from the floor at home.”
Shooting may have improved in recent games, but injuries have plagued the Commanderettes as Sarah Godshall, Courtney Guy and Shelley Medley are all on the mend.
Godshall returned to the team Tuesday after recuperating over the Christmas break. Guy is being treated for some torn cartilage in her knee and Medley has re-injured the knee she had surgery on last year.
The injuries have given other players a chance to show what they can do, something that Smalley is glad to see.
“Some of these young kids like Kenya Turner, Kayla Edelen and Rikki Fry gave us some big minutes in the Christmas tournament. It’s developing a deeper bench for us. When we get some players back, hopefully we can play 10 or 11 girls,” Smalley said.
Junior guard Pooh Railey has emerged as the top offensive force for WC, scoring 104 points in the eight games she has played in for a 13 points-per-game average.
“Pooh plays hard,” added Smalley. “She’s been out three games with a bruised knee. I thought she played really well in the Caverna tournament, she’s played consistent and she’s carrying the load right now.”
Freshman Shay Yocum follows with 78 points in 10 games for 7.8 ppg and Morgan Burton is averaging 5.9 ppg, recording 59 points in 10 games.
The Commanderettes are facing a tough test this week with four district match-ups in the coming week, starting with Bethlehem this Friday night.
“That’s an important game,” Smalley said. “We want to stay out of that number four seed. Right now, Nelson County is heads and shoulders above the other three teams in the district. If we can defeat Bethlehem Friday night, then we could stay out of the number four seed.”
If Washington County hopes to do well in district play later in the year, now is the time they need to be consistent in scoring, gain some ground in the standings and solidify their defense.
Smalley added, “If we can get a balanced attack over the new year, we can win a few games.”
The Commanderettes will host Adair County Thursday night with JV action starting at 6:30 p.m. and varsity at 8 p.m before resuming district play Friday night when they take on Bethlehem on the road in the second game of a boy/girl doubleheader in Bardstown.
Catch all the Commanderette action on WYSB 102.7 FM and get game highlights and photos in next week’s copy of The Springfield Sun.