Ashley Ridge Girls have some experience

Ashley Ridge junior Jakiya Attles dribbles past an Orangeburg-Wilkinson defender during the Theresa Kendle Thanksgiving Classic tournament at Summerville High School.

The Ashley Ridge Girls Basketball team has some experience, but needs to find a way to replace some of the scoring last year’s seniors provided.

“I feel pretty good about where we are at right now,” Ashley Ridge coach Eric Witten said. “We were able to pick off where we left last year and just add to it at the start of this year. I think our team’s strength will be defense. We should be able to defend most teams in our region and that will allow us to be in the game at the end.”

Ashley Ridge returned three starters from last year’s squad, but guard Katie Zailski has an injury that will keep her off the court this season. Senior power forward Amanda Blake returns after averaging 7.6 points, 2 assists and 1.6 blocks per game last season. Junior center Vanessa Blake is also back after averaging 10.5 rebounds per game.

The Lady Swamp Foxes also have three other varsity lettermen back, sophomore Diamond Thompson and seniors Aaliyah Gethers and Patricia Reid. Thompson averaged 1.2 steals per game last season.

Other members of the team are juniors Jakiya Attles, Araya Martinez, Ever Curry, Serenity Davidson, Katherine Jackson and Zaley Dobbs and senior Dakiray Smiley.

“We have six girls coming up from JV and senior Dakiray Smiley is new to our varsity program,” Witten said. “The fortunate thing is I coached both JV and Varsity at the end of last year so it’s almost like we have 12 returning players. All of our first year players are guards and wings so we will be able to rotate that position in and out. I believe we will have a new person step up every game and that excites me.”

The Lady Swamp Foxes are looking to improve upon last year’s region performance and be in the playoff mix at the end of the season.