Lady Hounds not as young as they appear

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 31, 2000

FERRIDAY, La. – The Huntington Lady Hounds will field a deceptively young basketball team this season.

Although only one of the team’s two seniors has varsity experience and four of the team’s five returning key players are sophomores, the 2000-2001 edition of the Lady Hounds has more experience than one might expect.

Sophomores Emily Hazlip, Tiffany Ferguson, Sarah Ashmore and Tessa Taunton all saw a good deal of playing time in last year’s 10-20 season, as did junior JoLee Hughes, said Huntington head coach Penny Moak.

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&uot;We’re a young team, but I think they matured a lot over the summer,&uot; Moak said. &uot;We’re physically stronger and quicker, and I hope we’ll be more mature out on the court.&uot;

While the team’s speed will add to the Lady Hounds’ already formidable defense, Moak said, her players need to work on their outside shooting.

&uot;That’s something I think we can improve,&uot; she said. &uot;A lot of the girls played on the fast-pitch softball team, and they didn’t get into the gym to start shooting until about three weeks ago.&uot;

But having several members of the state champion softball team provides the basketball team with momentum heading into the new season, Moak said.

&uot;They’re not used to losing,&uot; she said. &uot;This same group won district (in basketball) in junior high. I feel like last year was a little down because they were so young.&uot;

Even young, the Lady Hounds made it to the South State tournament last year, Moak said.

&uot;Our goal is obviously to go back, and hopefully do a little better.&uot;

Huntington will play in MPSA District 5-1A, where they will face the always tough Trinity Lady Saints and a pair of wild cards in Amite School Center and Pine Hills Academy.

&uot;I don’t know too much about Amite, but they’ll probably be tough,&uot; Moak said. &uot;Pine Hills had a strong JV bunch. They’ll probably be pretty good, too.&uot;

The Lady Hounds open their season at home Thursday against Tallulah Academy. Junior varsity games begin at 4 p.m., with varsity games immediately following.