MAN — The Man High School girls’ basketball team heads into the 2015-16 season with a lot of question marks.
Tonia Ward is set to begin her 22nd season as head coach of the Lady Billies this week as Man is set to play in the River View tourney on Thursday and Friday.
This year’s team is described by Ward as being very young and inexperienced.
Man is coming off last year’s 6-15 season in which the Lady Billies lost 46-28 in the Class A sectional tourney to Tug Valley.
The Lady Billies were hoping to have some experienced starters back, however, Hannah Harvey, Hunter Harvey and Haylee Daniels — the backbone to last year’s team — have reportedly decided not to play this season, thus putting Coach Ward behind the 8-ball.
It looks like Man will be going through some growing pains this season.
“We’re very young. We have five freshmen, seven sophomores, one junior and only one senior on the roster,” Ward said. “We’re very very young but I think they will learn as the year goes on. I feel we will get better as the season progresses. I have a very good assistant coach in James Toth and the girls have been working very hard.”
In the absense of the non-returning trio, the Lady Billies will look to three girls who do have some varsity experience in Summer Combs, Morgan Muncy and Courtney Hinkle.
Combs will most likely be running the show at point guard.
“She really takes care of the ball and is a real hustler,” Ward said.
Muncy, a sophomore, will also be seeing a lot of time in the backcourt.
“She is also a hustler and runs the floor well both on offense and on defense,” Ward said.
At forward, Man has sophomore Sarah Blevins, a transfer from Mingo Central. She will give the Lady Billies some size in the paint.
Hinkle, a junior, will likely fill Man’s other forward position. Ward said Hinkle is a very good rebounder and defensive threat.
The girl in the middle at center will be sophomore Sasha Moody. Ward said she is quick and is a very good leaper and will be a strong rebounder for the Lady Billies this season.
Also looking for playing time is freshmen twin sisters Allie and Maddy Meade, along with Abby Ferrell, Brooke Burgess, Chelsea Vance, Emma Justice and Jade Looney. Cortney Smith is currently injured.
Man has another challenging schedule with home-and-home games against 2A teams Westside and Mingo Central.
Man does not play either county rival Logan or Chapmanville this season. Class AAA Logan beat Man 95-24 last season and the second game was called off.
The Lady Billies will be heading up to the Class AA level next season after this fall’s realignment. Logan is moving down to 2A next season and Chapmanville will still be a 2A school as well, putting all three Logan County schools in the same classification.
“We play a tough schedule with all those Catholic schools and it’s not going to get any easier as we move up to Class AA next year,” Ward said.
2015-16 Man High School
Girls’ Basketball Schedule
Dec. 3: at River View tourney, 7 p.m.
Dec. 4: at River View tourney, 7 p.m.
Dec. 8: Teays Valley Christian, 6 p.m.
Dec. 9: at Fayetteville, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 11: at Mingo Central, 6 p.m.
Dec. 14: Greater Beckley Christian, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 17: at Westside, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 22: River View, 7 p.m.
Jan. 8: at Montcalm, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 11: at Van, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 14: at Teays Valley Christian, 7 p.m.
Jan. 18: at Sherman, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 22: Montcalm, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 27: at Mount View, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 1: Westside, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 5: at Greater Beckley Christian, 7 p.m.
Feb. 8: Mount View, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 9: at Cross Lanes Christian, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 12: Sherman, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 15: Van, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 16: Mingo Central, 6 p.m.