Head coach: Cedric Anderson (1st season)
Last season: 25-5, lost to Knoxville Webb in sectionals
Starters lost: 0
Starters returning: 5
Players to watch: G Megan Sanfratello, G Brianna Hall, F Abby West, F Jordan Allen, C Eva McIntosh, G Sara Allen Thornell, G Mary Catherine Turner
Cedric Anderson is stepping into a pretty unique situation.
The Lady Rebels were really good the last three seasons under head coach Cameron Pridemore. Those teams went 67-20 and finished just short of the state tournament the previous two seasons. Pridemore left Rosemark over the summer for another coaching gig in Kentucky.
Enter Anderson, who has coached the TRA boys the last two seasons and will do both this year. He inherits all five starters from last season and the lofty expectations that go along with that.
He has is own coaching style, of course, but realizes he will have to do as much adjusting as his players, and perhaps more.
“I have to learn to coach the team,” Anderson said. “I’m the one making adjustments and I want to make that clear. I’m the new voice and face coming into the mix.”
And what a mix it is.
Senior guard Megan Sanfratello, who is being recruited by several schools, is back after averaging a team-best 17 points per game last season. Forward Abby West, another senior, returns after averaging 14 per game. Both players have scored more than 1,000 points during their careers.
Juniors Brianna Hall and Jordan Allen, who missed all but three games last year with an injury, are back as well and both are likely to hit the 1,000-point mark this season.
If that wasn’t enough experience, senior post Eva McIntosh returns after starting last season, as does Mary Catherine Turner. Raven Sims, a freshman point guard, is also expected to be a factor this season. The same goes for Sara Allen Thornell.
The usual suspects figure to stand between the Lady Rebels and that elusive state tournament berth. Harding Academy and University School of Jackson, which beat TRA three times, defeated Rosemark in back-to-back region tournament games last year. Those losses damaged Rosemark’s shot at making it to the state tournament.
Anderson is fully aware this is a make or break year.
“Now is the time to make a deep postseason run,” he said. “They’re going to have to work to make it happen.”