Young, inexperienced Warriors making progress early in season

Sherando's Kathryn Robertson drives between a group of Spotswood defenders during Wednesday night's game in Stephens City. Rich Cooley/Daily

STEPHENS CITY — Sherando has a young and inexperienced girls basketball squad this season, so it’s no surprise they’ve taken a few lumps early on.

The Warriors return just two full-time starters from last year’s team, and only three players with much experience.

“We’re playing well and sometimes we’re playing really well,” Sherando coach Mike Marsh said after Wednesday night’s 58-34 loss to Spotswood. “It’s just that there’s some inconsistencies right now. And that’s just part of a young season.”

Sherando senior point guard Kathryn Robertson and senior shooting guard Amber Garrett are the only two regular starters back from last year’s squad. Senior center Tori Seymour started part of the season last year.

Even though the three saw playing time, their roles are a little different this year as seniors.

Sherando's Ashton Clark prepares to go up under the basket as Spotswood's Emma Seekford, left, and MacKenzie Freeze, right, defend during Wednesday night's game in Stephens City. Rich Cooley/Daily

“We’ve always had seniors above us who play a lot,” Robertson said. “And it’s kind of different to be those seniors and have younger kids below us. It’s just been a different role, helping people figure out everything on varsity because we have a really young team this year — inexperienced.”

Marsh said Robertson is averaging around 14 points a game, after scoring about four points a game last season. Garrett is the team’s top returning scorer, averaging 8.4 points per game last season. The Warriors lost last year’s top scorer, Davina Lane, to graduation. Lane led the area with 16.9 points per game last year.

Marsh said he likes the new players the team has, it’s just going to take some time for them to get adjusted to the varsity level. Most of the new players played at the junior varsity level last season.

Junior Ashton Clark and sophomore Blake Conner have each had solid scoring games for the Warriors. Marsh said he’s seen some good things from sophomore Abigail Dodson, freshman Asia James and junior Nicole Morgan as well.

“We have some good depth,” Marsh said. “We have some strong players.”

Sherando's Abigail Dodson shoots over Spotswood's Casey Irvine, left, and MacKenzie Freeze, right, during Wednesday night's game in Stephens City. Rich Cooley/Daily

Two other seniors, Marah Humphreys and Amber Strosnider have also provided some depth and leadership for the team.

“Amber Strosnider and Marah (Humphreys) were reserves (last year),” Marsh said. “And Marah has really worked hard. She’s played her way into a starting role. Amber’s one of the first girls off the bench. So the seniors are doing a really good job.”

The Warriors (2-2) have had a tough schedule. They started off playing in a tournament at Musselman, West Virginia last weekend. They lost the opener to Musselman, but bounced back with a victory over Petersburg, West Virginia.

“I think it was a good way to start the season,” Robertson said. “Because we started off with a loss, but then we came back and played a lot better the second game. I think it showed us how we could play, and how we shouldn’t play at the same time.”

Robertson, who led the Warriors with eight points against Spotswood, said she thinks the younger players are picking things up quickly.

Sherando's Kathryn Robertson looks for help as Spotswood's Mary-Ruth Shifflett applies full court pressure during Wednesday night's game in Stephens City. Rich Cooley/Daily

“I think everybody’s progressed quickly,” Robertson said. “Everybody’s really caught on. I still think we’re pretty inexperienced, we still have a lot of catching up to do. But I think everybody’s doing a really good job of getting the hang of everything we’re doing this year.”

Garrett said that one thing that has hurt the team this season has been slow starts.

“We always start off slow,” Garrett said. “We need to start off at a faster pace. We were down by 19 in the first quarter (to Spotswood). We need to cut back on our turnovers.”

Sherando plays at Central tonight in a non-district game.

Marsh said that he knows the Northwestern District will be tough, but he said the team’s goal is to advance to the regional tournament. Only two teams from the Northwestern District advance to regionals.

“If we work hard and progress every practice and every game that’s a possibility for sure,” Marsh said of advancing to regionals. “It’s just that we have to continue to improve every game and every practice.”