Lady Colts have mixture of experience, youth
Six players with starting experience back for third-year coach Rick Mouser
Editor’s note: The following is the second day in a series of previews of area high school girls and boys basketball teams. The series of previews will run in each edition through March 4.
PHILIPPI — Like other coaches around the state, Philip Barbour High School girls basketball coach Rick Mouser is adjusting to a shortened and delayed season due to COVID-19.
“It’s been hectic,” said Mouser, entering his third season at the helm. “We have 16 games scheduled right now crammed into approximately five weeks.
“Playing so many games a week doesn’t give you much practice time to make adjustments.”
Fortunately for Mouser, six players with starting experience return, and practices so far have been going very well.
“We are still young but have experience,” Mouser said. “We have 10 girls back that saw some varsity time last season, and our roster is comprised of a lot of sophomores and freshmen and at least three of those freshmen will get some minutes.
“This is the hardest working team I’ve had since I’ve been here.”
The six players back with starting experience include junior Alyssa Hill, sophomores Averi Carpenter, Emily Denison and Mattie Marsh and seniors Marissa Schiefelbein and Kiana Bolyard.
Hill, a 5-foot-11 forward, and Carpenter , a 5-6 guard, were both Class AA honorable mention all-staters last season.
Hill has been a starter since her freshman year.
“Alyssa is the type of players who can take over a game with her scoring and rebounding,” Mouser said.
Denison, at 5-foot-10, also brings good size in the frontcourt, while Marsh is a forward, Schiefelbein saw time at guard and forward last season and Bolyard at guard.
“Our strengths will be athleticism, quickness and length,” Mouser said. “The girls came into drills in pretty good physical condition, which will be important in a season like this.”
The Lady Colts face a very stern schedule. Along with playing Big 10 Conference powers Fairmont Senior, North Marion, Lincoln, Buckhannon-Upshur and Bridgeport, the non-conference slate includes dates against Tucker County and Greenbrier East.
Beginning this basketball season, there will be four classifications in place — Class AAAA, AAA, AA and A.
Philip Barbour will compete in triple-A.
The Lady Colts will be in the Class AAA, Region II, Section 1 with Fairmont Senior, East Fairmont, Grafton and Notre Dame.
Region II, Section 2 schools include Elkins, Lewis County, Robert C. Byrd, Lincoln and Liberty-Harrison.
Philip Barbour opens the season March 3 at Robert C. Byrd.