By Carl Holcomb
Moorefield Examiner –
East Hardy Girls Basketball is preparing to navigate the road in order to set the cruise control on winning and the journey starts tonight.
The Lady Cougars have dealt with back-to-back losing seasons with records of 6-16 (last year) and 5-18, but there has always been a glimmer of hope.
“We want to be better than the day before. Our goal is definitely to win more ball games,” East Hardy Coach Bridget Billmeyer stated.
“With the depth we have this year and the experience, we just want to be a more well-rounded team. Our goals are to rebound better, shoot free throws better, handle the ball better, and put more points on the board.”
East Hardy will continue with its focus to improve each day with its motto to ‘Believe and Succeed…It’s not just about being the best, it’s about being better than we were yesterday.’
“We played well last year. We had Fort Hill on the ropes, we had Pocahontas County on the ropes once, and Pendleton County. We just could never finish a game to win,” Coach Billmeyer noted.
The Lady Cougars have the blueprint for success knowing five state tournament trips have been made before, although the last time was back in 2009 under legendary coach Raymond Snapp (418 wins in 29 seasons).
Billmeyer played in the state tournament and was an assistant to Coach Snapp during the last state tournament run.
Billmeyer has made two trips as head coach to the Region II Championship and turning the pages of historical success will open a new chapter of accomplishments.
East Hardy has proven to be competitive, but having a shallow bench hasn’t helped to stretch the talent throughout the game.
This season there has been a move to feature quality players throughout the entire lineup.
“If you put our five out against their five, we were better conditioned than them. We have a better quality depth of bench,” Coach Billmeyer said.
The varsity squad will be guided by seniors who have plenty of experience to enable the Lady Cougars to get more wins: Marilyn Cassell (center), Jade Foltz (guard), Rayann Foltz (guard), Ruby Fridley(guard), and Autumn Mathias (guard/forward).
To compliment the talent of the seniors, East Hardy has junior Jordan Whetzel (forward) and two sophomores Allison Dyer (guard) and Bobbi-Ann Mullins (forward) to complete the varsity roster.
Cassell, who stands at 6’1”, was the Potomac Valley Conference rebounding leader last season and led the Lady Cougars in scoring.
Cassell has definitely been a dominate factor leaping in the paint to create points and crashing the boards.
“I can’t imagine anybody beating her in the paint. People will have a lot more trouble guarding her if others around her figure that out. She can jump higher and is taller this year than last year,” Coach Billmeyer remarked.
Twin guards Rayann and Jade Foltz have shown good speed on the court and have been able to feed the ball or take a shot when needed.
Rayann Foltz has been in the Top 5 of the PVC assist category the past two seasons.
The Foltz twins have shown a fearless determination to drive into the paint and have created opportunities for teammates.
However, this fierceness has created foul trouble and made playing minutes dwindle.