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Throughout the successful 2018-19 campaign for Bethel basketball, many of the storylines centered around sharpshooter and Conference Player of the Year Myah Taylor. But in many ways, what made the …
Throughout the successful 2018-19 campaign for Bethel basketball, many of the storylines centered around sharpshooter and Conference Player of the Year Myah Taylor. But in many ways, what made the Lady Wildcats go was Tasia Jones and Tyasia Willis off the bench who step into starting roles this year. “Tasia and Ty are both great leaders,” said Head Coach Chris Nelson. “Ty is not only one of our returning leading rebounders, but she is also very vocal on and off the court. Tasia dictates the tempo and controls the game and our team. She sees the floor as good as any point guard that has played in our program.”
As the Lady Wildcats prepare for the 2019-20 season, returning leadership from the two lone starters, Morgan Martin and Millie Bryant, give the experience needed in the back court for the challenging schedule. “These two are what our program is all about,” said Coach Nelson. “They bring stability and toughness. Not only do they lead in the locker room, but in the classroom as well.”
The most notable new faces to the team are redshirt transfers Ge’Naisha Robinson and Mickey Head. Robinson and Head allow the Lady Wildcats to play different styles than past seasons. Although Bethel led the nation in three point makes last year, this team is looking for more of a post presence and scoring off of their defense and transition. “It is comforting to know they have been with us all last season, so chemistry should not be an issue with them fitting right into the puzzle,” states Coach Nelson.
Jani Crawford and Ashton Hulme are two players to keep an eye on as they both played significant roles at different times last season. Crawford certainly has a lot of promise after finishing strong her sophomore season and being named to the SSAC All-Tournament Team. She could very well be one of the main scoring options for the Lady Wildcats this season. “She can really shoot it and spends more time in the gym than any player we have ever had,” said Coach Nelson. Another local native, Ashton, could take a leap in playing time after having up-and-down minutes her freshman season. Hulme will bring three-point shooting, rebounding and depth at the forward position.
“We are excited about this season, and the expectations are the same. It is our goal to win the conference again and go as far in the postseason as possible and be the last team playing in March,” said Coach Nelson. “Our preseason should have us prepared as we will have to be resilient with the schedule we have ahead of us. Obviously, we are a year older with this team, so chemistry and experience will be the major ingredients for our success.”
The Lady Wildcats begin play with two exhibition games, first at Middle Tennessee State University on Sunday, October 27 at 2 p.m., then at UT Martin on Wednesday, October 30 (time TBA).
Their regular season begins at home in Crisp Arena with the 2019 Chamber Classic. The host Lady Wildcats face Brescia University on Friday, November 1 at 8 p.m. and Dillard University on Saturday, November 2 at 4 p.m.