Lady Kavs are young, but talented

Published 3:54 pm Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Two-thirds of Kenston Forest School’s 2018-19 varsity girls basketball team is comprised of underclassmen, but the squad has expectations of being among the best in the Virginia Colonial Conference (VCC).

“We’re young, but we have a lot of talent, and I think we’re going to be OK,” Lady Kavaliers Head Coach Jannon Coley said.

Kenston Forest finished the 2017-18 season with an 8-17 overall record, falling to Banner Christian School in the VCC tournament semifinals.

The Lady Kavs lost three players to graduation: Josie Epperson, Ally McComas and Indigo Dougherty.

This year, the team includes three seniors, three sophomores and three freshmen. The starting lineup features the full blend — two seniors, two freshmen and one sophomore.

One of the starting seniors is wing player Macie Coley.

“She’s my second-highest scorer on the team, so she’s been doing very well,” Coach Coley said. “… She’s very scrappy, and she’s little and she’s quick.”

Senior Emily Hawthorne is the starting point guard.

“She does great by bringing the ball up for us, bringing it up the court and handling it very well and running the plays for us,” Coach Coley said.

The team’s offensive leader has been sophomore Molly Epperson.

“She likes to drive, and she’s aggressive, so she’s my leading scorer so far throughout the games that we’ve played,” Coley said.

Epperson does not necessarily have a set position.

“Molly sometimes is my other wing, sometimes she can play down low too as a forward,” the coach said.

Rounding out the starting lineup are freshman center/ forward Shelby Gunn and freshman forward/guard Taylor Maione.

“They contribute a lot,” Coley said. “They’re good little athletes, and they played just a strong JV (junior varsity role) last year, so both of them actually start for me this year coming up from JV.”

All five players demonstrate impressive versatility, giving Coley many options of how to construct the lineup.

“Those five, I can pretty much switch them in and out with whatever position, and they work really well together so far,” she said.

The Lady Kavs are off to a 2-7 start this season, but they are 1-0 in the VCC.

“We’ve gotten to play some teams outside of our conference who are very good and very competitive, and you know what, I think that can only make us stronger,” Coley said. “So, even though it was a loss for us, I think we’re going to be fine in the end.”

She expects her team to be in the top three of the conference this season.

“That would be our goal,” Coley said. “Probably not No. 1, but two or three, and that’s fine. That’s good for us.”

She anticipates Banner Christian could sweep its way to the top again.

“They were just kind of a blowout in our conference last year, so I have a feeling they might be a blowout this year, and then I think it’s going to be really competitive with us against (Brunswick Academy) and then us against Richmond Christian,” she said. “I think we might have pretty much comparable teams, so I think it’ll be a toss-up in there.”