Fort Mill's girls basketball team has nowhere to go but up this season. After finishing last year with a 3-20 record, the Lady Jackets are picked to be last in the region in 2008-'09.
"I told them that they need to beat people above them in order to gain respect," second year coach Todd Bowser said.
"The girls have been practicing hard and are excited about the season. I'm looking for good things this year," said Bowser, whose team finished with a 16-7 record in summer games.
The team lost two seniors from last year, but Bowser said most of the players are returning. Taylor Marcinko, is a new senior on the team who Bowser said will help off the bench as a guard. Charity Mustafa , a sophomore, transferred from a private school in Charlotte.
"She may be a starter for us and will contribute as one of the first subs on the bench," Bowser said.
Also returning this year is point guard Lisa Nichols and Jenna White, a forward. Seniors Courtney Grainger and Kayla Gipner will contribute and so will returning players Haley Bonner, Alexia Grevious, Sarah Walker and Carley Ross.
The team is taking one practice and one game at a time, starting with two scrimmages this week. First, the Lady Jackets take on Buford, and then Spartanburg.
"It will be a good tune-up period to see where we stand when we take them on," Bowser said of the upcoming scrimmage against top team Spartanburg.
Bowser said the team will run more this year and he hopes that results in more transitional baskets.
"Inside, Courtney Grainger compliments Jenna White with perimeter shooting," he said.
Most importantly, Bowser wants the team to do well in its non-league games and preseason tournaments to set the tone for region action later on.