New JV girls basketball coach fired up for season
Published 9:04 am Thursday, November 18, 2021
By Brian Pitts
Davie’s new JV girls basketball coach, Lamar Russell, is chomping at the bit.
“It’s been really, really smooth,” he said. “I’m enjoying it a lot. This season is going to be fun.”
Last season under Marnic Lewis, the War Eagles went 4-2 and closed with a four-game winning streak. The top four scorers (Peyton Spaugh, Sydney Phelps, Gracie Spicer and Gracie Wilson) have moved up to varsity.
Russell’s squad includes one sophomore and eight freshmen. The lone sophomore is Hannah McMillian, who figures to be one of the team’s go-to players.
“Hannah has been an amazing team leader,” Russell said. “She may end up scoring a lot of points. She’ll probably play more outside even though she’s not used to doing that.”
The freshmen are Kaylee Lynch, Kaylee Lewis, Carleigh Croom, Riley Potts, Callie Wisecarver, Nadelie Jones, Tai’tayuanna Torrence and Tasia Tarpley.
Russell has seen positives from each one.
Lynch is a guard who “has really impressed me,” he said. “I think she’s going to be a real important player for us. She’s been a post player for most of her career from what I’ve heard, but I think she can play guard. She may play multiple positions.”
Lewis is a guard who is nursing an injury. She should be back in time for the opener.
“I think Lewis is going to help us out a lot, but I haven’t gotten to see much of her,” he said. “What I have seen, I know she’ll be a huge help.”
He said Croom “will probably play everywhere but down low. She’s a speed demon, so she’ll definitely be a solid defender.”
He said Jones is a point guard who “looks reliable from the outside.”
He said Tarpley “could probably play multiple positions. I could see her more in the post, but she can definitely bring the ball up the floor if I need her to.”
Wisecarver is a 6-footer who will be counted on for paint production.
“We’re definitely going to look to Callie to give us points in the post,” he said. “I’ve got to get her to be a people-mover. I think she’ll get there.”
Potts will play forward and center. Torrence is a guard. Add it all up and it sounds like Davie is ready to make serious noise.
“I think we’re going to do something special this year,” Russell said. “I could be calling it wrong, but I think we will.
“I teach two things – defense and fun. I always tell the girls: ‘If you play great defense, you’re going to have fun because the scoreboard is going to tell you that you’re winning.’ These girls have bought into that and they’re putting in the work.”
Notes: Russell’s assistant coach is Nathan Handy. … Russell, 34, grew up in Yadkin County and graduated from Starmount in 2005. … He coached the Forbush Middle girls, alternating between the seventh- and eighth-grade teams, for five years and only suffered seven losses. There were four regular-season championships, three tournament titles and three perfect seasons.