Scovel tries to strengthen weaknesses with incoming class
When Roonie Scovel came back as coach a year ago, she knew she was behind the eight ball in trying to put together a recruiting class for the 2014-15 season.
She managed well under the circumstances, bringing in a class that included All Panhandle Conference players Kristina King and Tianah Alvarado, as well as starting point guard BriWilliams.
But the team lacked depth and size, with King the only player over 6-foot tall and the rotation often featuring just seven players or eight players, with only a few proving to be consistent contributors.
The Lady Commodores still won 20 games and made the state tournament, but if they were going to regain their status as a national power, the roster needed to be replenished with greater size and depth.
Scovel has worked hard throughout the offseason to do just that with a 2015 recruiting class that features three players over 6-0 and some welcome reinforcements in the backcourt.
The coach said she was excited to get a full recruiting cycle after the abbreviated one that marked her first year back on the sideline.
“It’s been great. I’ve really enjoyed it and we’ve worked really hard,” Scovel said. “We’re trying to get out and about to get the pieces we need to get the atmosphere and environment right. We want to have fun, competitive practices and some of those pieces were missing. Hopefully, we’re adding those pieces and we can get together as a group and try to accomplish something special.”
Scovel had her work cut out for her having to replace four of the team’s top five scorers, with King and Williams the only returning starters.
Helping to replace the scoring punch lost with the departures of Chelsey Gibson and Alvarado – a combined 34 points per game last year – will be the talented inside-out duo of Canadian post player Audrey-Ann Goudreau and Chipley guard Amanda Paschal.
The 5-7 Paschal averaged 22.6 points, 8.7 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 4.5 steals per game for the Tigers as a senior and possesses the ability to play both guard positions effectively.
The left-hander is a slick ball-handler who has a knack for getting into the teeth of the defense and finishing in the paint, but it’s her vision as a passer that Scovel said impressed her the most.
“She’s got tremendous athleticism and she’s got eyes all over her head,” the coach said. “That’s probably the best compliment you can give to a guard. She can see the play in advance, create for her teammates, and make good things happen.
“I love the way she plays. If she adds a few things to her game, she’ll be highly sought-after after a couple of years. We’re hoping she can give us a lot because we’re expecting a lot of her.”