Girls basketball preview
by Becky Kimbrell-Norris
ROLESVILLE — Of all the challenges that basketball coaches will face this season, none will be bigger than those faced by Tosha Pullen and her Rolesville High School Rams.
The school, which opened this fall, will unveil its first girls’ varsity basketball team Tuesday when the Rams travel to Heritage High for the season opener for both teams.
“I see a lot of potential in the ladies we chose,” Pullen said. “If they put in the hard work then I believe we can really surprise some teams.”
“I see a lot of challenges because they are so young,” Pullen added.
Pullen, who also coaches the school’s volleyball team, knows all about starting a team from scratch. She also did the same at Jay M. Robinson High School in Concord.
There were 22 girls who showed up at the Rams tryouts.
“We had three girls who didn’t complete the tryouts and we ended up cutting our numbers down to 13 for a varsity team only,” she said.
Teaching the basic fundamentals of basketball to the girls has been one of the most difficult things for Pullen.
“The skill level of our team and areas where fundamentals should have been taught at a lower grade level and we have to teach now,” she said.
Freshmen Morgan Brown, Jaylin Powell and Carson Evans are three of the most experienced basketball players for the Rams.
Brown will play point guard, Powell, power forward and Evans’ role is center.
“Each of these young ladies have played basketball and been around the game for a while,” Pullen said. “Watching them in our scrimmage showed areas that they need to work on and get better, but each of them has the potential to improve and play competitively.”
Evans and Brown both participated in a fall sport at Rolesville High. Evans played volleyball while Brown ran cross country.
“That has given them some experience of what this level looks like, even though basketball is definitely different from volleyball and cross country,” Pullen said.
Other members of the team are Sydni Williams, Damyesha Morries, Dinkqua Jackson, Konner Edwards, Oluchi Chukwunvere, Mabel Bermudez, Abby Taylor, Tia Collins and Mikayla Booze.
Pullen said her team is practicing when the aim of learning to get better each day. “They are a hard working group and they are a blank canvas in which we have the opportunity to make strong players out of these ladies,” she said.
“Our weakness of course is experience,” Pullen added, “but our goals are to be competitive, win games and make the state playoffs.”
Anthony McKoy and Ebonee Taylor will assist Pullen in coaching this season.
The Rams first home game is November 21 at 7 p.m. against Panther Creek.