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Pictured at the Madison Ridgeland Team Camp are Lady Patriots, from left, X’Zorria Jones, Kailyn Smith, Ava Rodgers, Hallie Turner, Evelyn Greer, Erin Burleson, Addison Potts and Keranie Jones.

Marshall girls show progress at camp

The summer has been “encouraging” for the Marshall Academy Lady Patriots, according to coach Jeremy Ervin.

A highlight was a 6-6 record in the Madison Ridgeland Academy Team Camp.

“All the girls looked improved,” he said. “It was obvious that from the beginning of the week to the end of the week, we got a lot better.”

MA graduated four seniors from the 2018-2019 basketball squad – Kaylan Parks, Erin Lomenick, Peyton Stephenson and Mary Neely Jones.

“We had some strong contributors graduate, but I can see signs of this group stepping up,” said Ervin, who will enter his second season as head coach at Marshall. “They did some things this summer that they didn’t have to do last year.”

Those expanding their roles on the court this season will be returning players Erin Burleson, Keranie Jones, X’- Zorria Jones, Hallie Turner and Evelyn Greer.

“They didn’t get to showcase all their skills last season,” Ervin said. “This summer, they showed other things, like either getting to the goal or driving and finding open teammates. They’re handling the ball well.”

“They will all have to carry more of the offensive load. They looked more confident – more comfortable.”

Also, Karah Nicholson, who is returning to MA this season, will be a big contributor, he said.

“She is going to be a big help offensively and make up for some of the loss in scoring (due to graduation),” Ervin said. “She is going to step into a lead role just fine.”

MA, which finished 5-19 last season and was eliminated in the first round of the district tournament, will find a group of new opponents in District 1-3A this year.

Kirk Academy, North Delta School, Lee Academy (Clarksdale) are familiar foes. New to the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools is district foe Macon Road (Tenn.).

“North Delta is solid, no doubt about it,” Ervin said. “And Kirk is good – a program that knows what it takes to win.

“The district will be teams I’m familiar with (from his previous coaching stint at Bayou Academy). The district will be challenging. But that’s OK; I don’t think we will be intimidated.

“Plus, Marshall has played out of conference on that level all the time.”

The Lady Patriots will continue having summer practice sessions through July.

This fall, the first possible scrimmage date is October 1. The first possible playing date is October 15.

Holly Springs South Reporter

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