Chambers girls prepared for 3A competition

Published 9:30 am Saturday, July 2, 2022

Chambers Academy girls basketball is beginning yet another year under head coach Jeff Hines. He will be entering his third season as head coach.

After making the 2A AISA tournament finals last year, they will have to face new challenges in 3A competition.

The girls basketball team has been using June to focus on summer workouts, but they’ve also had a couple of playdates.

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“We played two playdates, so we’re done for the summer,” Hines said. “We just continue to work out three days a week.”

Chambers played two playdates, one held at Lee-Scott and the other held at Evangel. Chambers will continue to workout on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.

As far as this year’s team, Chambers will be looking for some girls to step up due to the loss of production from seniors.

“We lost a lot from last year’s team,” Hines said. “We don’t have any seniors this year. Mackenzie Gilliland will be a junior. Malissa Lee will be a junior next year, and Lizzie McManus will be a junior next year. We’re going to look to them to lead our team. We have a freshman point guard in Meleah Tigner.”

Despite the lack of seniority, Hines still feels good about his team.

“We have a good nucleus,” Hines said. “We have seven girls back from last year’s team. We didn’t win a game at Lee-Scott, but we did a lot of good things. It’s not about winning this time of year. It’s about finding out who you are. We went down to Montgomery and won two down there. The outlook is bright for this group, but the schedule will be tougher. We have to work at it.”

One of those strengths will be in the frontcourt.

“We have two big posts in Olivia Daughtery and Lizzie McManus,” Hines said. “Olivia is about 5’11,” and Lizzie is about 6’1”. The main focus of the summer was figuring out how we could pound the post with the ball. We’re always going to play good defense. We’re always going to rebound. We don’t shoot it as well as we did last year, so we have to figure out a way to get our post players involved.”

Hines thinks Mackenzie Gilliland will be the girl to step up and take a leadership role despite the lack of seniors.

“She’s just in her second year here, but she’s a competitor,” Hines said. “She works hard, and she’s stepping up in that leadership role.”

Hines has also been in charge of the volleyball team for the summer due to the search for a new volleyball coach. Most of the girls basketball team players also play volleyball, so that will be the main focus until they begin the basketball season in December.