Lady Gators counting on group effort

  • Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Rob Gantt/Gazette Freshman Mariah Linney is a projected starter in the backcourt for the Lady Gators.

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There may not be as much individual star power on the Goose Creek High School girls basketball roster as there normally is, but a solid group is prepared to continue the program’s tradition.

For the first time since 2009, the Lady Gators won’t have a senior signed with a Division I school when the season begins. Still, the outlook is sunny.

“I think we can be very good,” Lady Gators coach Tim Baldwin said. “We will have to spread the ball around and play well on the defensive end. All five people on the floor will be a threat.”

Last winter, the Lady Gators finished 20-5 and advanced to the second round of the Class AAAA playoffs before losing to eventual state champion Dutch Fork, 47-34. Gone are the top two scorers but three senior starters are back in guard Alex Ludwig (6.8 PPG, 2.1 SPG), forward Shakeia Joy (4.6 PPG, 4.0 RPG) and center Semoine Frasier (5.9 PPG, 3.1 RPG).

“They must play big for us to have a successful season,” Baldwin said. “This is their year to establish themselves as players.”

New starters Ericka Broughton and Mariah Linney are freshmen that got some playing time last season as middle schoolers. Baldwin said he has high expectations for his two 2017 graduates.

Broughton played in 22 games, contributing 3.2 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per contest. Linney saw action in nine contests.

Sophomores Ryan Bishop, Shakayia Wilson, Zeleria Simpson and junior Diamond Rivers provide depth.

The Lady Gators open the season at home on Dec. 9 against Military Magnet. They follow with a home game against Berkeley before traveling to Hanahan on Dec. 13 and Fort Dorchester on Dec. 15.

They begin region play Jan. 14 at home against Stratford.

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