The Newburg High School girls’ basketball team may start four seniors.

But to be sure, there is a youth movement going on with the Lady Wolves.

A pair of sophomores and a high-scoring freshman will be included in the Newburg rotation this season.


The Newburg High School girls’ basketball team may start four seniors.
But to be sure, there is a youth movement going on with the Lady Wolves.
A pair of sophomores and a high-scoring freshman will be included in the Newburg rotation this season.
Newburg opens the season next week in the Frisco League Tournament at Laquey. The Lady Wolves are seeded sixth and will play third-seeded Dixon at 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 1 in the first round of the tourney.
Newburg is coming off a 14-13 record from last season, during which the squad captured the district tournament championship and lost to defending state champion Hartville in Class 1 Sectional action.
Shayla Ellzey, the team’s leading scorer and a former all-state player, was among the key players lost to graduation.
Newburg has a familiar face as its first-year head coach this season as James Thompson, an outstanding player for the Newburg boys in the 1970s, takes over for Sam Potter, who retired. Thompson served as Newburg assistant coach last season and has also coached the school’s grade-school girls’ basketball programs.
After last week’s Meet The Wolves scrimmage Thompson plans to start four seniors and a freshman. However, he says that lineup is very tentative, particularly early on.
“I had planned on starting four seniors and had one opening,” Thompson said. “But that will probably be a freshman.”
That freshman, 5-6 guard Hannah Yelton, has the look of a potential scoring whiz for the Lady Wolves. During Meet the Wolves Night last Friday Yelton poured in 25 points, including several three-pointers.
Yelton was dominate at the elementary and junior high level, scoring 50 points in a single game and averaging 32 points last year as an eighth-grader. Thompson was Yelton’s head coach at that level as well, so he knows what she’s capable of.
“She’s no stranger to being a scorer,” Thompson said of Yelton. “I hope she continues that.”
The new coach is hoping four seniors will take scoring pressure away from Yelton. She will be joined in the starting lineup by 5-7 senior Kristen Wheeler, 5-9 senior Megan Richmond, 5-6 senior Jerrica Lair and 6-1 senior Amelia Sands.
Also in the Lady Wolf rotation figures to be 5-7 sophomore Shannon McNamara, 5-10 sophomore Alex Hoffman, 5-10 junior Brittany Wilson and 5-7 junior Jenna Snodgrass.
Lair is a former all-district selection who required knee surgery due to an off-season injury.
“We plan to play 12 players eventually,” Thompson said. “We’ve got some depth. We’re pretty optimistic.
“We’re going to run and we’re going to play full-court defense and we’re going to go inside and outside.”
Thompson said this year the Lady Wolves have more size than he can ever recall the program having. And he says there will be times when he’ll have all three of his varsity post players -- Sands, Hoffman and Wilson -- on the court at the same time.
“Newburg’s never had three post players,” Thompson said. “There will be times you’ll see a triple-post, and there will be times you’ll see five guards. One of our strengths is our depth. We have so many options, I think I can make whatever adjustments we need to make to compete.
“We have a lot of quickness on the bench in Snodgrass and McNamara. Right now we’re giving the seniors the opportunity to hold their jobs.”
Here is the Newburg girls’ basketball 2008-09 schedule:
Dec. 1-6...Frisco League Tourney at Laquey
Dec. 8...Belle, 6 p.m.
Dec. 10-17...St. James Jayvee Tourney, tba
Dec. 11...Laquey, 6 p.m.
Dec. 15...Stoutland, 6 p.m.
Dec. 19...at Salem, 6 p.m.
Jan. 5-10...Rolla Invitational, tba
Jan. 9...at Bunker, 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 12-17...Richland Jayvee Tourney, tba
Jan. 15...at Richland, 6 p.m.
Jan. 20...at St. Elizabeth, 6 p.m.
Jan. 22...St. James, 6 p.m.
Jan. 26...at Crocker, 6 p.m.
Jan. 29...Iberia, 6 p.m.
Feb. 2...at Owensville, 6 p.m.
Feb. 5...at Steelville, 6 p.m.
Feb. 7...at Bourbon, 3 p.m.
Feb. 9-14...Newburg Invitational, tba
Feb. 16...Dixon, 6 p.m.
Feb. 23...at Licking, 6 p.m.
Feb. 26...at Plato, 6 p.m.
Feb. 28-March 7...District Tourney, tba