STRASBURG ― Strasburg may have all the pieces it needs this season to have a successful girls basketball campaign.
The Rams have size, speed and experience. Strasburg coach Darin Jenkins said the key will be defense.
“I think we can do some different things with what we’ve got,” Jenkins said. “The one thing I want to focus on this year ― I want to make sure we play good, solid, sound defense. I think if we do that, I think good things can happen for us.”
The Rams return last year’s top-scoring duo in the area in juniors Christyan Reid and Jaden Alsberry.
The 6-foot-3 Reid led the area in scoring, averaging 15.3 points per contest. The 6-foot-2 Alsberry was fourth in the area, averaging 11.6 points per game. Alsberry was second in the area in rebounds, averaging 7.4 per game, while Reid was fourth with seven per contest.
The duo along with 6-foot-2 senior Daniella Henry should have a big advantage inside the paint against most teams.
“I think that this season we’re going to do well, especially with our height,” Reid said. “Having two 6-2 girls and me being 6-3, we definitely have a big height advantage. And I think we’ll have a good season and do really well.”
The Rams will be without junior point guard Maddie Smallwood, who tore her ACL during volleyball season. Smallwood led the area in assists last season, averaging 5.8 per game.
However, freshman Nyla Sperry, who started on Skyline’s junior varsity team last year and transferred to Strasburg this season, will take Smallwood’s spot.
“She’s here to play with us, and she’s definitely a really good 3-point shooter,” Reid said of Sperry. “And she’s definitely going to help our team out a lot.”
Jenkins said Alsberry has improved her game. He said she is now becoming more of an inside threat, instead of just playing outside the paint, which will make Strasburg’s inside game even stronger.
Henry and senior guard Debra Dillman are the team’s only seniors.
“Both those kids are great girls, they really are,” Jenkins said. “They both are captains this year. Debra’s obviously been a starter for several years for us. She’s not only a great basketball player, she’s just a great kid. She’s positive; she’s upbeat. She wants to get better. She’s there to help everybody else. …(Henry’s) dedicated herself this year. I think she’s determined to have a good year. And as long as we can keep everybody healthy and she can stay healthy, I think she’s going to have a solid year.”
The Rams open their season today at Page County.
The Bull Run District should be competitive and Jenkins said he feels like the Rams have a shot at competing for the title.
“I think overall it’s probably wide open,” Jenkins said of the district. “I know (George) Mason lost a bunch, Central lost some players. As far as the outlook, I got to like our chances. Again, if we can play defense, I like our chances. I think overall it’s going to be wide open. It’s going to be whoever wants it more.”