Things Looking Up For Highland Lady Rams Basketball
Monterey, VA – The Highland High Lady Rams got an early Christmas present this year – three brand new seniors to add to their roundball roster. The Lady Rams added Ashley Hiner and Nicole Newcomb, who defected from cheerleading; and Jessica Tuning, a transfer from Gap with basketball experience.
Head coach Caroline Botkin says her returning starters form a solid core on which to build.
“Emily Botkin has been playing all of her years – all of her high school years – and she is a guard,” she said. “She leads the floor. She communicates. She talks.”
“Becca Landrum is doing a wonderful job. She’s our junior. She has height. She played a fantastic game against Harman on Thursday night. We kind of round it out with Tabatha Hiner, Burgundy Hicks and Krista Vandevender. Those were the core five returning players from last year. With their experience and having played together, they know each other and work together well.”
Sophomore Burgundy Hicks has played basketball for Highland since sixth grade. Hicks says the team’s ability to learn is one of its strong points.
“We actually work together, she said. “We don’t get mad at each other if we don’t make a shot or don’t do something right. We just tell each other what we did wrong and then we do it better the next time. Our shooting is not great but it’s alright and we’re good on defense. We learn from our mistakes and make it better.”
Sophomore Tabather Hiner says you have to be hard-nosed to play varsity ball.
“It’s tougher – it’s more serious,” she said. “Because you’re varsity, you have to step up and try to win.”
Hiner says three things will make the Rams a better team.
“Hard work, teamwork and hard practices,” she said.
Rebecca Landrum, the team’s only junior, says three new players will make a big difference.
“We have more people this year, which I think is a good thing, because we can have some subs and more things going on on the court, like, we can do better defense ,” she said.
Landrum gives her opinion on the team strengths and weaknesses.
“We have pretty good ball handlers that are getting better,” she said. “We have two or three point guards, right now. Some of the things we need to work on are just getting the ball inside, instead of trying to shoot the outside shot.”
Coach Botkin says her team size is a problem, but one that can be overcome.
“Height is a problem,”she said. “When they see other teams coming and they’ve got these five-foot-ten and 11 girls on there, it gets a little scary. But, we’re low to the ground. We can get there. We can take care of business.”
Botkins says things are looking up for the Lady Rams.
“Now that we have been able to add some more strength to our team, I think we can be competitive, as long as they will work together, have the heart and the drive to get out there and play ball like they know how to,” she said. “And they do know how to play ball.”
The Lady Rams play at home against the Harman Panthers on Tuesday, December 20. Tipoff will be about 7:30, following a middle school game at 6 p.m.
Mark your calendars for January 3 at 5:45 p.m. when WVLS will broadcast the Lady Rams at home against the Bath County Lady Chargers.