Lady Cougars set lofty goals for 2011-12 season

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By Dwane Wilder

 Their season has been over less than a month, and already members of the Campbell County High School girl’s basketball team are looking forward to next year.

And with everyone returning from a team that finished third in the district tournament and advanced to regionals, why shouldn’t they be counting the days until practice begins in November?

All-district point guard Courtney Morris will lead half a dozen CCHS seniors, most of whom have started two years in a row.

During her junior campaign, Morris led the Lady Cougars (18-11 overall) with 12 points and 4.1 assists per game.

“I thought we had an amazing season,” said Morris, who has received recruiting mail from UT-Martin.

“I don’t want to just stop at regions next year. With the team we have, we’re capable of going to state, without a doubt.”

Since Campbell County hasn’t been to the state tournament in 20 years, that would be quite an accomplishment.

But several of Morris’s classmates share the same dream for 2011-12.

“(Our season) went well, and, where the team is returning, none of us are going to take less than what we want, and that is to make it to state and go all the way our senior year,” said Amber Young, a post player who averaged 6.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.

“I thought we played team ball this past season,” said junior wing Courtney Miller, a 3-point specialist.

“Teamwork is and always will be the key to success. I really am looking forward to going far in the state tournament my senior year.”

“We worked great as a team and developed a strong bond,” said Shayla Goins, a post player who shot 45 percent from the field and 70 percent from the free throw line while averaging 9.7 points per game.

“We always got looked at as being a young team, but now it is time to show what talent we have built up. I expect this year to be leading up to a state title and going further.”

The Lady Cougars were headed down that road earlier this past season after impressive victories over district powers Oak Ridge and Powell during the same week to take a share of the league lead with Hardin Valley.

“Our defense was better than I thought it would be,” said Campbell County coach Ryan Browning.

“We didn’t give up a lot of offensive rebounds, and I think that really helped us.”

However, a mid-season slump cost Campbell County a regular season title and a top seed going into the district tournament.

“I’m a little disappointed, because I was hoping to finish in the top two in the regular season and tournament,” said Browning.

“We had a couple of games that cost us a chance to do that. Halls and Anderson County we lost in the last two minutes, so that goes to show you that even two losses can take you from second to fourth.”

Going into next season, Browning said he would like to have a little more scoring punch from Morris and wing player Kristin Chapman (8.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 89 steals, 44 blocked shots).

“I’m looking for Courtney Morris to be more of a scorer and start looking to drive the ball more,” said Browning.

“I’d like to see Kristin get up into double figures scoring.”

The coach would also like to have post player Maria Foust on the court for an entire season. Foust, a junior, missed 15 games with a knee injury.

“She can be a difference maker on offense and defense,” said Browning.

“She blocks shots and has a nice jump shot.”

The coach is also going to have to get more production from his bench.

“For us to get better, they’re going to have to push themselves,” said Browning.

Next year’s lineup will have an impressive resume. Morris and Chapman were named all-district for the regular season. Chapman and Goins made the all-district tournament team.

“You’ve got a lot of minutes on the court,” said Browning of his veteran players.

“I’m probably going to push them a little more this summer and see if I can get a little more out of them.”