Lady Eagles: new coach, new district, new players

Beard becomes third new coach in past four years for Milano
BY MARIE BAKKEN
Reporter Staff Writer

MILANO—Mark this season down for the Lady Eagles basketball team as “under construction.” The team has a new coach, lost five seniors to graduation and is in a new district.

“The biggest difference in this year’s team and last is the fact that it is basically a new team. We have lost eight players since last year,” new Milano head coach Virginia Beard said.

Lost to graduation were Mandy Coldiron, Madison Simpson, Brittany Compton, Sarah Ferrara and Tiffany Williams. Coldiron was a second team all-district selection, while Simpson earned an honorable mention nod.

Seniors Taryn Love and Stephanie Philpott and junior Desiree Adrian did not come out for basketball this season. Love was an honorable mention pick to the all-district squad.

Milano’s lone returning starter is senior Ashleigh Dykes. She was the team’s top scorer last season and also the school’s only recipient of first team honors.

Fellow senior Allison Dodd is the only other letterman returning from the 2009-10 team that went 10-17.

“They will play key roles in leading this 2011 team,” Beard said of the two seniors.

Three girls who did not play last season have come out for the team. Seniors Masey Turnage and Brittany Bullock, along with junior Lyndsie Gray have suited up this year.

“Each of them are valuable assets to the team and have stepped up after sitting out for a year,” Beard said. Turnage and Gray have earned starting spots along with Dykes and Dodd.

The other starter for this year’s Lady Eagles is Rayleigh Shaw. The 5-7 sophomore will handle post duties for Milano this season.

Other key players will be sophomore Stonie Guthrie and freshman Kelly Wadlington. Beard said the varsity roster is not set in stone and that sophomore Hayleigh Lagrone and freshman Emily Overall will also see playing time on the big girls’ squad.

With a new coach, the team has had to learn a new system and Beard said the girls are adjusting well.

“Playing time and patience will be vital as the girls learn to play as a team and to prepare and incorporate the new program which is designed and implemented for them,” she said. “They have had numerous new things presented to them and have responded in a very positive way. We have set team goals and are working diligently to try and obtain them.”

Beard replaced Tashia Terry who left the district prior to this school year. Terry had been the Lady Eagles head coach for the past two seasons. Beard has been in coaching since 1988 and has been at MISD for six years.

She was the head tennis coach last year and was also named the girls athletic coordinator in spring 2010.

Milano is in a new 27A Division II this season due to the UIL’s biannual realignment last spring, but will face some familiar foes.

In the five team district along with the Lady Eagles are Holland, Granger, Thrall and Bartlett. Charter school Georgetown Gateway was to field a girls basketball team, but have withdrawn from district play.

With new things in store for the Milano girls basketball program, Beard’s hopes are high for her team.

“We are looking forward to a fun and successful season.”

Tuesday

Milano had a handful of games under its belt already and are sitting at 3-4 on the year.

The Lady Eagles faced No. 23 Jarrell on the road Tuesday night and lost by a score of 71-30.

Pr ior to the Thanksgiv ing break, Milano took down Florence on Nov. 23, 36-28. The Lady Eagles struggled in the first quarter with unforced turnovers.

They found their grove and with just under two minutes left in the second when Allison Dodd hit a short jumper to put Milano up and they’d not trail again.

Ashleigh Dykes led the team with four points and three rebounds, followed by Masey Turnage with 12 points and eight rebounds, a team high. Rayleigh Shaw swiped four steals on the night.

The Lady Eagles will participate in the Anderson Tournament over the weekend and return home on Tuesday, Dec. 7 to host Mumford.

LADY DOG FILE

Coach: Virginia Beard (1st season) 2010 record: 10-17 District record: 3-7 Returning starters: Sr. Ashleigh Dykes Key returnees: Sr. Allison Dodd Top newcomers: Sr. Masey Turnage, Jr. Lyndsie Gray, Soph. Rayleigh Shaw, Fr. Kelly Wadlington Key losses: Mandy Coldiron, Madison Simpson District outlook: fourth

LADY EAGLE ROSTER
No. Player Height Class
10 Kelly Wadlington 5-2 Fr.
11 Allison Dodd 5-7 Sr.
12 Lyndsie Gray 5-3 Jr.
13 Masey Turnage 5-7 Sr.
20 Stonie Guthrie 5-5 So.
21 Brittany Bullock 5-5 Sr.
22 Ashleigh Dykes 5-4 Sr.
30 Raighley Shaw 5-8 So.
34 Hayleigh LaGrone 5-5 So.


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The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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