The Sequoyah Lady Indians basketball team went one round deep into the state playoffs last year where they lost to Perry, and finished with a 19-12 record.
From that team, three seniors graduated, and according to Head Coach Justin Brown, all three were instrumental in the Lady Indians’ success. Harley Culie was a full-time starter, while Alena Deer and Kylie Marshall both started periodically and came off the bench regularly to put in valuable minutes. Brown said those three were a huge part of the reason the team made it to the state playoffs.
The Lady Indians lost one other player from last season, Emmary Elizondo, when her family moved back to their previous home and school.
That being said, Brown said he had 7-8 returning starters. Brown played a lot of girls last year, and at least 10 of them started at one time or another.
He said Carey Folsum and Annaston Brown are the only two actual full-time returning starters.
If the season were to begin today, Brown said his starting lineup would include Folsum and Brown, Shailey Hair, Anias Black, a senior newcomer at point guard, and probably Wacahpi Cook, although Rylie Bush could be in the mix as well. He said those six were their best players right now.
He said after the top three, No. 4-15 are all pretty much the same, which gives the Lady Indians pretty good depth. He said they all can shoot a little bit, they can all defend, and they can all come in at any time to give quality minutes.
Brown said he had several seniors this year, including Folsum, Hair, Black, and the Silva sisters, Karleigh and Julisa. He said although they may not all have a lot of varsity minutes, they’re at practice every day, doing their best to improve and help the team. Another newcomer to the program this year is junior Lila Bible, who is a tall, talented player who will give the Lady Indians a lot of help.
Bush and Rayna Falcon are sophomores and both saw a lot of time on the floor last year, and Brown said he expected good things from them this year as well.
The Lady Indians have seven freshmen on the team, and Brown said he really liked them and how they were working hard to fit into the system. He said, again, there were a lot of similarities between the kids, and they just have to get some experience and learning.
The team strength is probably depth, he said. He can play a lot of kids and not really drop off. The challenge will be staying healthy.
“It’s a long season, and that’s very important to stay healthy. If everyone stays healthy, then we have a good chance to go back to the playoffs,” said Brown.
The Lady Indians open their season at home, Dec. 2 against Adair, then go down to Silo, a team that is always really tough, Brown said.
In December, the Indians and Lady Indians are hosting a tournament for the first time. Brown said more details would be forthcoming in the near future. He said he feels the field in the tournament is very tough.
Overall, he said he thinks the Lady Indians are going to be exciting to watch this year, and especially on their home court, "The Place Where They Play."