By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The more things change the more they stay the same is a familiar saying.
That is the case with Tipton-Rosemark Academy Lady Rebel Basketball. Since 2011 the Lady Rebels have increase their win total. The one consistent has been the presence of Head Coach Shari Armour on the sideline.
Entering her third season, Armour wants to continue the trend of improving the win total while establishing her style of play. When Armour took over the job at TRA, her roster featured several underclassmen.
Now those players are mostly juniors and sophomores. But the on-the-court leader will be senior guard Virginia Moore.
“I’m going to expect her to take care of the ball and lead the team,” Armour said. “Then Brooke Bridges, I’m expecting her to really step up this year and be the backbone of the team. Bridges will be more offense this year.
“Then I have Bethany Berger coming back and she’ll be strong on both ends of the court offense and defense,” she added. “Alli Nafieh is going to be our main post player this year.”
Featuring mostly guards, players like Nafieh will play key roles in the interior protecting the basket. Armour said speed and perimeter execution will be the strengths of her team as the post players mature into their roles.
Nafieh will be joined by forwards Hannah Quinn and Alexa Crum. Armour said they will step up their play in the post setting the tempo on the defense.
Armour is hoping good interior defense will assist the guards in staring fast breaks and creating transition offense.
“I’m going to use Berger’s and Bridges’ speed to get us up and going,” she noted. “And our shooters are a lot more confident.”
When in a half-court set, Moore will be running the show. She will set the table for shooters like Bridges, Berger and Taylor Beasley. The B-Squad will be counted on to take more shots within the offensive structure.
“They’re a year smarter and a year stronger,” Armour said. “We’re coming off a great summer, can’t complain about that.
”We’re understanding the game of basketball right now,” she continued. “It’s not like we’re being thrown out there. We take it one day at a time, one practice at a time like we always have. We’re going to start at the very basics of the fundamentals and keep advancing as far as we can.”
Her focus has strictly been Lady Rebels as the season approaches. Armour said when it comes to league play, her team can advance farther than last season.
“I’ve been so worried about getting my team to where it needs to be for a district ranking right now,” she said. “I’m not worried about where I place as long as my girls are growing in the game. That’s going to build a program right there.
”We’re going to see a big mark improvement this year,” Armour concluded. “Before I got here, they were winning two games. My first year, we won seven games. Last year we won 12. I plan on at least adding another five this year.”