The Lady Cougars were 12-14 but return four starters, including 5-8 senior forward Sydni Rainbolt (12 ppg) and 5-3 senior guard Ali Nolan (8 ppg), who Lady Cougars coach Mickey Duncan calls a “good floor general.” Casey Nolan, a 5-5 freshman guard is Ali’s sister. A tough schedule will either make or break them in time for the postseason.
WARNER — Raven Girty, a 5-9 post who averaged 10 points a game last year, will team with three other starters on a team that went 9-14 last year. Zadie McElhaney joins her as a 5-7 guard. She was an instrumental piece of the puzzle that helped Midway get within a game of a championship in Class B last year.
TAHLEQUAH — Randee O’Donnell left the program to focus on fastpitch, Phipps is at Fort Gibson and Jhonett Cookson at Sequoyah but the Lady Tigers still have athletic guards Whitney Wright (12.0 ppg) and Marisa Girdner (5.4 ppg) and some young athleticism and quickness from a team that made it to the state quarterfinals last year. They’ll have to adjust to a new head coach in Johnny Dyson.
CHECOTAH — Kim Lewis is the Lady Wildcats’ fourth coach in as many seasons. Newakis Banks moved from Eufaula to Warner and joins eight returnees. Banks was a key part in Eufaula’s run to the Class 3A area consolation finals.
OTHER TOP RETURNEES — DeNora Wheeland, Haskell, 5-8, G, Jr., 8 ppg, 4 assists; Peyton Thomas, Gore, 5-7, G, So., 9.6 ppg; Tiffany Thompson, Hulbert, 5-7, Jr., G, 14.2 ppg.; Nina Echelle, Stigler, 9.5 ppg.
1. Fort Gibson