By Chris George
HAMBLETON – As the temperatures continue to drop outside, the sounds of basketballs bouncing off the hardwood floors across the state of West Virginia can be heard inside. The 2022-23 Tucker County Lady Mountain Lions are currently getting their preseason work in before they start on what many think could be a very special season.
Head Coach Dave Helmick returns for his sixth year as the Girls’ Head Coach. He has a very experienced team back that is poised to try to make yet another trip to Charleston this season. Only one senior, Jayden Kuhn, was lost to graduation a season ago. While Kuhn will be missed, the other four starters are back with plenty of talent and experience to make another run. Returning is 1st team All-State, Wheeling University commit, senior Kadie Colebank. Junior point guard Macy Helmick returns for her third varsity season. Junior guard Brylee Wetzel and Junior guard Avery Colebank return with varsity experience while Senior forward Jacey Davis and Junior forward Ericka Zirk will be pushing to start for the Lady Mt. Lions. Others that will also see varsity action will be Juniors Addie and Katie Hicks, Junior Jayden Moore and Junior Hannah Cussins. There are 21 total players out for this year’s Tucker County team as the JV team will be made up of 11 players, which consists of 5 sophomores and 6 freshmen.
Coach Helmick says, “This group of girls played well this summer during our 3 week period as we traveled to Liberty University team camp and competed and beat some great teams at the 3 day camp.” “Practice has gone well, this group has picked up where we left off this summer with good energy and great attitudes.” “These girls are focused and are ready for another season and want to build on last year’s great season and try to get to Charleston again and win some games.” “This is the most experience I have had back since my 2018 team which finished the season in the final four with a 24-2 record.”
The schedule this year will once again be challenging. The Lady Mountain Lions will finish up their preseason scrimmages this week. Then it all begins for real with game one set for Tuesday December 6th at Pendleton County. JV is set for 6:15 PM with varsity to follow after. Non Conference teams this year include, Gilmer County home and away, Notre Dame home and away and road games at Elkins and Union, which made the Class A State Tournament a year ago. Tucker will also host a very good Class AA Philip Barbour Lady Colts team on January 24th. Finally, the Lady Lions will host their first holiday tournament in several years as they will welcome the teams of Union, Frankfort and James Monroe on the 28th and 29th of December.
You can catch all the Tucker County Lady Mountain Lions home games on the Tucker County High School Gym YouTube live page, which is a part of TuckerCountySports.Com.