Positive outlook for Lady Buffalo basketball team

By Michelle Pope

   After pulling together and finishing last year's season with a bang, the Lady Buffalo basketball team hopes to hit the bulls-eye this year.
   Coach Rich Aubrey said that an extremely good recruiting year, in addition to last year's stellar season end, during which the Lady Buffs won 12 of their last 13 games, will hopefully be Milligan's key to success this year.
   "All the pieces are in place to have a pretty good season," Aubrey said. "We're looking forward to it."
   The Lady Buffs have a balanced team as far as experience goes. The team consists of three seniors, three juniors, four sophomores, and three freshmen. Coach Aubrey has three returning starters in Amanda Greene, Ginny White, and Kari Stout.
   Nicky Jessen, a senior this year and three-year starter for the Milligan squad, returns after a season off. "Nicky will have a good senior year," Aubrey said.
   Amanda Greene, a senior this year, will play the post position. Last season, Greene started in every game and served as the team's strongest post defender.
   Having played basketball for 12 years, Greene has started all four of her years playing for Milligan.
   "I think we play really good together," she said. "I've played with most of the girls before."
   Greene, Stout, and White all played basketball together at Hampton High School. Greene said she also played against some of her Milligan teammates during their high school years.
   White, a junior who led the team in assists her first two seasons, will be a key player for Aubrey this year. White plays the guard position.
   Stout, a sophomore this year, and the final returning starter, was named All-Conference her freshman season last year. She was also awarded the "Freshman of the Year" honor in the conference.
   The team's third senior is Joy Clark. She should prove to be an essential element of success for the Lady Buffs after averaging ten points a game last year, and leading the conference in field goal percentage.
   "We're playing a tough non-conference schedule, as always" Aubrey said. "Top to bottom, this is the strongest conference ever." After 11 years of coaching the team, if Aubrey's outlook rings true, it will require teamwork and skillful playing from the entire team to excel.
   The team has two transfers this year, Ann Marie Gardner, a junior from ETSU, and Leah Seevers, a sophomore from Bethel College in Indiana. Gardner, who doubles as a cross country runner for Milligan, will play as guard. Seevers will play forward for the Lady Buffs. "I expect them both to see a lot of action," Aubrey said.
   Lacy York, a junior, and former Happy Valley player, will be center for Milligan. "She'll play a lot," said Aubrey. York missed part of last season with a knee injury, but is expected to be back in the heat of action this year.
   Ashley Adkins and Elizabeth Henter, both sophomores, will play center and guard, respectively. The team's three freshman players include Kacie Letterman and Candace Shelton, both 5'9" and forwards, and Laura Willett, a 6'1" center.
   Greene is hopeful for a good season this year. "I think we'll be deep," she said. "We have a lot of very talented players. We're all pretty quick, pretty strong, and all definitely in shape."