Seniors or assistant coaches?
Greenup County coach Matt Gilbert views Lexi Carroll and Lauren Hannah as both, essentially.
“We rely on them every day,” said the second-year leader. “They’re both an extension of our staff, really.”
Carroll and Hannah will try to propel the Lady Musketeers out of the 16th Region cellar — Greenup County went 5-24 a year ago.
Gilbert said Greenup County searched for answers over the summer “as to what we can do to change.”
Considering the Lady Musketeers’ struggles at point guard last season, he looked there first.
“This year we have some girls who we feel are ready to step into that role,” Gilbert said. “There are several younger players who can fill that guard position and really take care of the ball.”
Gilbert said Emma Frazier will likely be the starting point guard. Baylee Robinson, Taylor Gammon and Emily Maynard are all capable of handling the ball, too. Gilbert said Maynard is “probably our best set outside shooter.”
Freshman Rachel Bush has loads of potential, particularly on defense, Gilbert said. She started several games as an eighth-grader.
Hannah and Carroll are both working to help shape younger Lady Musketeers. Seven of the 16 players on the varsity roster are freshmen or younger.
“We have a lot of young girls this year, so I’m trying to help them and encourage them every chance I get, get them used to the drills we do,” Hannah said. “I let them know it’s OK if they miss a shot every once in a while. ... They’re doing really good in practice, stepping up, really improving.”
Hannah averaged 7.2 points and five rebounds a game last season. Carroll scored 5.7 points and pulled down 6.6 boards a contest.
Carroll said Greenup County is “way more prepared” this year, and she envisions significant improvement.
One bright spot of 2018-19 was figuring out a way to notch a 63rd District win — the Lady Musketeers toppled Raceland, 49-44, on Feb. 8. Are more district victories on the horizon?
“We’ve just gotta come at them with what we’ve put in over practices and hopefully execute and get it done,” Carroll said.
One of Gilbert’s main goals is to provide stability in a program that hasn’t experienced much steadiness. When Gilbert, also the school’s athletic director, took the position in 2018, he became the fifth girls coach since 2012.
Since her first exposure to high school basketball in seventh grade, Hannah said Gilbert is her fourth coach.
“It’s really setting in and I feel like it’s gonna help girls and they’re going to be really good in the next couple years to come,” Hannah said.
Gilbert has hope for this season and the near future.
“I think we’ve got some good players in the pipeline,” he said. “They’re hungry, and we talk about wanting to hang a banner because they haven’t had that opportunity. I think we’re set up a lot better this year to do that, for sure.”
Greenup County hasn’t achieved a 63rd District title since 2011.
The Lady Musketeers will host Lawrence County on Monday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m.