The last couple of seasons, Greenbrier West has been knocking on the door to the girls state tournament.
This year the Cavaliers believe they have the team that can break the door down.
“I am excited about this year, just like the last couple of years. We have improved dramatically the last couple of years. The outlook is good,” Greenbrier West head coach Mark Agee said. “We lost Brooke (Nutter) who was one of our best utility players, but we have three seniors back that I will expect a lot out of this year.”
The senior trio that will lead Greenbrier West this year will be Meagan Poticher, Ava Barclay and Raelyn Palmer.
“They have all played for me since ninth grade except for Ava who has been with me for the last couple of years,” Agee said.
Poticher has a rebounding machine and now has her name being mentioned with other Cavalier greats like Jo Ann Boone, Gina Osborne and Michelle Surbaugh.
The senior post player hauled down 222 rebounds last year to go along with 151 points scored and 31 blocks.
Barclay scored 169 points last year out of the point guard position, while creating 77 deflections and grabbing 58 steals.
Palmer was also a nemesis on defense with 48 steals on the season and averaged six points per game.
“Ava stepped in and did a nice job at point guard for us last year with several steals and deflections. She did really well on the scoring end as well,” Agee said. “Meagan is close to the career rebounding record for us, so we are hoping she can get that record this year.”
Preslee Treadway led the Cavaliers in scoring with almost 13 points per night after missing the first part of the season recovering from a medical issue. Agee looks for even bigger things this year from his sophomore standout.
“I didn’t have Preslee Treadway but half the year. She is back and has her weight back,” Agee said. “She is going to help us tremendously. Preslee is an athlete and a basketball player.”
Another young player that found her way into the line-up last year was Maddie Fields. Fields showed marked improvement as the year progressed. The versatile sophomore gives West a deep threat, to go along with an aggressive on-ball defender and strong rebounder.
Sophomore Abigail Thomas will add depth in the post, while junior Hannah Sweet adds some scoring punch.
“You won’t find anyone that works harder than Abigail Thomas does. She will be a strong rebounder and a defensive threat especially,” Agee said. “Hannah is a shooter. She is reading the floor much better and getting shots up faster than last year which will really help.”
The last couple of seasons, West has been really strong defensively putting extreme pressure on opposing ball-handlers. Scoring, however, has been a struggle at times. Agee is hoping that will not be the case this year.
“Haylee Ward played a lot of JV for us last year and we feel like she can help us out on the scoring end this year. She is a great shooter. Lacey Walker has matured. She handles the wall well and moves the ball well. She is another shooter,” Agee said. “Everybody has improved on shooting from the year before. If that continues at the same pattern, this could be a really good year.”
Agee also says he has some freshman that he feels can add critical varsity minutes for his team this year.
“When we can pressure the ball and run players in and out, that can’t do nothing but help us,” Agee said. “When you are a little bit rested it is a lot easier.”
While West is definitely a serious contender to make a trip to the state basketball tournament this year, there are several teams that stand in the way.
“Webster is still good. James Monroe and River View are still good. It is just a matter of pushing through,” Agee said. “It is a gut-check situation and we will see if they can handle the pressure.”
Greenbrier West opens the season on the road at Richwood Dec. 6.