ANTWERP — Four returning starters and seven returning letter winners have the Antwerp Lady Archers entering the 2019-2020 girls basketball season with high hopes and their sights set on a Green Meadows Conference championship.
The Blue and White brings back four starters that combined to score nearly 30 points per game last season from a squad that finished 7-14 overall and 2-5 in the league.
Leading the list of returnees is a pair of returning veterans in seniors Heather Oberlin and Karsyn Brumett.
Oberlin topped Antwerp at 9.2 markers a contest last season and took first team all-league honors as a junior forward. Oberlin pulled down 111 rebounds a year ago to pace Antwerp as well.
Brumett, a senior guard, averaged 8.7 points per game a season ago and was an honorable mention all-GMC recipient last season. She also led the Archers with 28 three-point field goals while dishing off 29 assists and recording 21 steals.
The other two starters coming back include sophomore forward Astianna Coppes and senior guard Tiera Gomez.
Coppes bucketed 6.7 points per contest as a freshman while also picking up 96 rebounds on the season. Gomez chipped in 5.2 points a game as well for Antwerp.
“We have four starters back with a lot of experience at the varsity level,” noted Antwerp head coach Scott McMichael. “It gives us a nice nucleus to build around.”
The Lady Archers also have three other players who saw varsity action a year ago that return.
Senior guard Alyvia DeVore comes back for the blue and white as does junior guard Laura Miller. Sophomore forward Lydia Brewer returns as well for Antwerp.
“Our depth will benefit us throughout the season,” added the Antwerp mentor. “It is a group that if they continue to work hard on a daily basis that has the potential to become a solid team.”
McMichael also feels that the Archers have some other newcomers who are capable of contributing at the varsity level.
Junior forward Molly Reinhart, sophomore forward Grace Schuette, sophomore Allison Reinhart and sophomore Kennadi Recker all are expected to aid the Antwerp efforts.
“We feel like we have a lot of girls who can come in and give us quality minutes,” continued McMichael. “We do have some areas that we know we have to be better at but the girls are working hard and they want to do whatever they can to be the best they can.”
One of those concerns for McMichael comes in a schedule that sees Antwerp play eight of their first nine games away from its home gymnasium.
“It’s a little bit of a schedule quirk this year,” stated the Lady Archer head coach. “It will be a challenge for us but it is a case that we just need to go out and play and get better each day. It’s not something we can control so we just have to play through that.”
The Archer mentor also wants to see his squad improve in both rebounding and defensive play.
“Those are things we have talked about,” McMichael said. “Both of those areas are critical parts of the game and the girls have put in a lot of effort in improving. This team has had a great work ethic and I think they will just keep getting better.”
Overall, McMichael is pleased with the progress but also knows that the blue and white needs to keep getting better.
“I have really liked what I have seen in practice so far,” commented McMichael. “We didn’t play as many scrimmages this year and practiced more and I think it has benefited us. It is a good group of girls and I am looking forward to see how they progress.”
According to the Archer head coach, the league race will be very balanced.
“The league is full of quality programs,” concluded McMichael. “The coaches will have their teams prepared on a nightly basis and everybody is capable of beating anybody on a given night. I expect the league to be very competitive.”