Head coach: Katrisha Glass (ninth season)
Last season: 25-6, lost to Macon County in the Class 2A state quarterfinals
Key players lost: Kalynn Howard, Felia Fayne, DiNiyasia Robinson
Key players returning: CorTayza Flowers, Nakya Gilliam, Kayla Pitts, Shamya Butler, Kendall Narcisse
Most teams lose key seniors every season, but what Covington lost to graduation goes beyond “key” players.
Gone to graduation are Kalynn Howard, Felia Fayne and DiNiyasia Robinson. Howard (four-year starting point guard) and Fayne were the team’s top two scorers the last three seasons, two of which ended in the state tournament. Robinson was the team’s leading rebounder and the kind of player who did all the dirty work inside.
So what are the expectations for a team that lost that kind of firepower?
According to head coach Katrisha Glass, pretty much the same.
“I’ve told them I still expect big things,” said Glass, who is entering her ninth season as head coach. “Players change, but expectations remain the same.”
Senior forward CorTayza Flowers is clearly the most experienced player on the roster. At 7.8 points per game she was the team’s third-leading scorer last season and also pulled down 3.4. rebounds per game, which also ranked third.
Nobody else on this year’s roster averaged more than five points per game last season.
The good news is that Glass used her bench a lot last year. Junior guards Kayla Pitts and Shamya Butler both played key roles in last season’s dramatic sectional win vs. South Side. Senior guard Nakya Gilliam is out until December with an injury, but she started last season and will play a big role.
Senior Audrey Glass, junior MaLiyah Gilliam and sophomores Kendall Narcisse and Alana Whiten are among the players who will need to play expanded roles if Covington is going to achieve the high standard it has established.
“This is definitely a different team,” Glass said. “The girls have been working hard. Our role players from last year are going to have to carry more of the load.”