Region 4 Girls' Bball: Bowling Green 72, Logan County 39

Bowling Green's Sasha Martin (from left) and Taniya Atkins double team Logan County's Abby Hinton Friday, March 2, 2018, during Bowling Green's 72-39 win in the Region 4 girls' basketball tournament at E.A. Diddle Arena. (Bac Totrong/photo@bgdailynews.com)

Editor’s note – This is the third in a 16-part series of high school basketball previews counting down to the scheduled opening night of the regular season Jan. 4.

There will be plenty of new faces on the sidelines at District 13 girls’ basketball games this season.

All four teams will feature first-year coaches – with Russellville, Franklin-Simpson and Todd County Central taking aim at ending Logan County’s dominance.

The Lady Cougars have won six of the past seven district championships, but new coach Dedra Adler inherits a team that lost all five starters and the bulk of scoring and rebounding.

Senior Abby Hinton played the most of any returning player, with Keira Costello the other returning senior.

Junior Kadyn Costello is among the underclassmen Adler expects big things from, with junior Sierra Seiber back and sophomore Gracie Borders also expected to contribute.

Adler said she is anxious to see how freshmen Emily Borders and Emerson McKinnis and eighth grader TaKyiah Mason fit into the mix – adding it will be a clean slate for her team, which will have a lot to prove.

“Experience is going to be our Achilles’ heel, especially early, but I have some kids that I feel really, really confident in,” Adler said. “I have kids that just want to play and just want to win.

“We will not always put the most experienced team on the floor, but we will always put a team on the floor that is going to come to play hard and come to compete,” Adler said. “I think that is going to take us a long way.”

Russellville will also have a new coach with softball coach Ryan Davenport named the interim coach Dec. 4 after Cameron Jackson stepped down after taking an administrative position in another district.

Davenport said he expects a smooth transition because he knows his players well from softball and school.

“I’ve been watching them play, so I know what they’ve got,” Davenport said. “There is a lot of talent.”

That talent includes one of the top rebounders in the state in junior Anastasia Dowlen, with sophomore Amiyah Collier a second-team all-region selection last season.

Macaria Hines and Chloe Whitescarver are the returning seniors for a Lady Panthers team that advanced to the region tournament the last two seasons but has bigger goals this year.

“That’s our goal,” Davenport said. “We haven’t won a district championship since 1999. That was my senior year. It’s time. Hopefully we will put in the work and be focused. It’s a long drought, but we are hoping to change things.”

Ashley Taylor is the new coach at Franklin-Simpson. She inherits a team that she expects to have plenty of potential.

Seniors Alera Barbee and Kate Norwood led the team in scoring last season, while sophomore Hadley Turner is back from injury and senior Adeja Partinger returns to provide depth in the backcourt.

Sophomore Damyah Hopson will also contribute according to Taylor, with Conleigh Wilson and Ashanti Hutcherson-Johnson expected to provide the defensive sparks.

Taylor said she is hopeful the Lady Cats can contend, but also knows it will be an unpredictable year for all four teams.

“You are going to see Franklin-Simpson be a little deeper than we have been in the past and play a little faster,” Taylor said. “We are kind of similar from top to bottom in the district. It is a battle each night. The way the season is set up this year you don’t know if you are going to see an opponent twice. There is so much uncertainty that every game, especially district games, are going to be so important.”{&end}

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