Lady Redskins continue to improve

Loudon High School’s Ashley Stoner prepares for a jump shot Dec. 20 against Karns High School.

The Loudon High School girls basketball team (4-7, 0-2 District 5-2A) joined the boys team and competed last weekend in the Under Armour Classic at Cleveland High School.

The Lady Redskins dropped the first game of the tournament Thursday in a 67-30 loss to Bradford High School.

“They’re right outside the Memphis area, so we played them,” Josh Brannon, LHS head girls basketball coach, said. “They’re a really strong team, that’s a team with a lot of tradition and they were 8-3, I believe, coming into the tournament so we got to see a really good team against them. It really wasn’t very close, I mean, they incrementally built the lead over the span of the game. We played pretty well against them, it’s just they were a really tough opponent and had a lot of size.”

Loudon drew another tough matchup Friday against the Cleveland Lady Blue Raiders and fell 58-37.

“(We) figured out how to make some better adjustments at halftime and had a really good second half,” Brannon said. “We played them really competitively, and I mean, that’s a really good basketball team. I think Carrie Pittman had 17 in the second half if I’m not mistaken. We were able to get her and Molly (Russell) in some spots where they can create with one another.”

The Lady Redskins capped off the tournament on a high note Saturday with an exciting 35-32 win against Region 3-3A opponent East Ridge High School.

“We were playing against a pretty athletic team out of the region, so for us to do that and go out there and defeat them, that gives our kids some confidence moving forward into the second half of the season,” Brannon said. “Honestly, it’s been a much-improved first half of the season compared to a year ago, so they’re really making some strides. A lot of young kids are starting to get some more minutes and they stepped up and made some key plays down the stretch that we needed to kind of finish the game off. That was a really good thing for us to do.”

The Lady Redskins led 22-9 at halftime, but the Lady Pioneers responded in the third with a 12-4 run. However, the Lady Redskins’ offense bounced back in the fourth with nine points.

Pittman led the way with 15 points at point guard, followed by Summer Parnell and Ashley Stoner with eight and six points, respectively.

“Yeah, I guess it just took me a while to get back in the groove,” Pittman said. “I don’t mind it, but, obviously, I miss Molly out there.”

Abbi Fritts also played a large role in the Lady Redskins’ transition offense and press defense down the stretch.

“Yeah, it’s usually the opposite player from the shot that gets back,” Fritts said. “I mean, I guess playing press helps sometimes, but it does tire us out a little bit.”

The Lady Redskins took on Roane County High School on Tuesday after News-Herald presstime. They will host Sequoyah at 6 p.m. Thursday and travel to Meigs County on Friday.

“This week’s going to be three really challenging opponents, and we’ll have to take it day by day, manage our bodies and manage our legs and make sure we’re on our Ps and Qs as far as our opponents are concerned,” Brannon said. “We’ll just continue to get better. That’s the outcome of every game is our kids to improve every game, and we’ll go from there. Regardless of the end outcome of every game, we want to continue to focus on us getting better as a whole, and if we do that, the scoreboard will take care of itself.”