In his second season with the Mary Persons girls basketball program, Kurt Greene has seen definite improvements with his team.
And those have moved the Lady Bulldogs right up near the top of the GHSA Region 2-AAA standings.
Mary Persons is 12-1 overall and 9-1 in the region, good enough for second place. Its only loss came to Westside, which is 11-1 in region play.
And the Lady Bulldogs have done that with a roster filled with young talent.
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“The first thing is we’re really young, but those kids are very talented,” Greene said. “We have a lot of younger players who are playing well and becoming good basketball players. The second thing is their knowledge of what we’re trying to do. You can see them getting in the spots they need to be in on offense and defense and being in the positions we need them in. We didn’t always have that last year.”
The Lady Bulldogs’ young players certainly have made a large impact on the team.
Mary Persons has two juniors (Kendria Buckner and Aleah Holden), a sophomore (Maya Stewart) and two freshmen (KeKe Calloway and Tyesha Davis) in the starting lineup. Calloway is the team’s leading scorer, followed by Holden, Buckner, Stewart and Davis.
Another freshman, Brecklyn Greene, is sixth on the team in scoring.
“We’re playing really well right now, but we still have a lot of work to do,” Kurt Greene said. “We just have to continue to do what we’re doing.”
Deb Baber’s Westside Seminoles are doing a lot of good things, as well, but they have used their experience to their advantage.
Senior Braxtyn Talton leads Westside in scoring with 14 points per game, and she averages four rebounds and three assists per game. Tommitrise Collins, who has signed with UTEP, averages 12 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots. Two more seniors, Erin Stubbs and Destyni Thomas, have been key, as well, with Stubbs averaging four points, two rebounds, five assists and four steals and Thomas averaging six points, eight rebounds and three steals.
Still, Baber isn’t satisfied with her team.
“We haven’t played a complete game, and that’s a good thing,” Baber said. “The potential is there to play that kind of game, and that’s exciting to know we have that potential.”
Westside is 15-4 overall and sits atop the region standings. After Mary Persons in the region standings, Howard is 8-4, Rutland is 7-4 and Veterans is 6-5 as teams battle for region positioning.
“The region is pretty wide opening, and when you get to the region tournament, anything could happen,” Baber said. “Mary Persons is obviously well-coached, and they have some young kids who are getting better every game, for sure. Howard, Rutland and Veterans are right there, too, so all five of those teams are battling for the top four spots.”