Washington's Kiara Smith (right) and the Pam Pack tipped off the season on Tuesday.
Washington's Kiara Smith (right) and the Pam Pack tipped off the season on Tuesday.

Archived Story

Pack ready to tip-off season

Published 10:59pm Tuesday, December 3, 2013

It’s game time. After lengthy preseason the Washington girls’ basketball team is ready to ditch the practice jerseys for the real deal and tip-off the 2013-14 campaign.
The Pam Pack was scheduled to play its season opener on Nov. 26 versus Riverside, but due to the success of both school’s football programs that game was postponed.
With the Washington football team playing in the NCHSAA 2-AA East Regional round of the playoffs this Friday, the boys’ basketball team is still inactive, but the girls made their debut on Tuesday night versus D.H. Conley, and that game could not come fast enough.
“We had to shuffle the schedule a little bit due to the success of the football team,” said Washington athletic director and girls’ basketball coach Allison Jones. “The girls are anxious to play. We scrimmaged Ayden-Grifton a couple of weeks ago so we were able to look at some things there, but I think the girls are ready.
“… Most coaches enjoy the extra time preparing for a season, but there does come a time when you’re ready to go against someone else.”
Jones said she was encouraged by the play of her team in its exhibition game.
“I thought there were times where we looked good,” Jones said. “With some of our older players it showed that they have been in the program for a couple of years and that’s a good thing.
“I was pleased with our post play and I’m hoping that will make a big difference for us this year, and our guard play was pretty strong.”
Washington is expected to use a rotation of returning players Abby Walker, Kiara Smith, Shonya Midgette and Alana Jefferson in the frontcourt and each had their moments in the scrimmage.
“I felt like Abby Walker and Shonya Midgette were really aggressive and played strong and physical in the post. That was good to see,” Jones said. “Kiara Smith also had a good showing during the scrimmage.”
Thanks to her defensive prowess, Jones said that Jefferson is a perfect compliment to Walker and Midgette up front.
“Alana’s going to play small forward, defense is her strength,” Jones said. “She’s quick as a cat and because she’s a soccer player she has really good footwork. She reads offenses really well.”
In the backcourt, returning leading scorer Sheema Blount will play shooting guard and be paired up with first-year starter Dina Redmond, who missed a large chunk of the 2012-13 season with a shoulder injury.
“This will be the second year that Dina’s been on varsity and she’s a smart player,” Jones said. “She understands how to play and game situations and what needs to happen when.
“Dina’s not been a point guard, so she’s kind of filling that role for us. But, she’s a smart player and she can handle the ball and really quick on defense.”
Backing up Redmond will be sophomore Timia Ebron.

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