East Ridge Basketball Preview

The Warrior Boys and Girls basketball programs look to make a huge impact this season.

The Lady Warriors basketball team is coming off a 4-25 season a year ago as Coach Robert Farmer tries to get his team back on the winning track. East Ridge lost in the first round of the 59th District Tournament to Pikeville last season.

KEY RETURNING – Senior Lauren Mann was one of the teams leading scorer from a year ago. Mann averaged 3.2 points per game and 2 rebounds. Sophomore McKenzie Sawyers brings a lot of potential to the Lady Warrior squad. As a freshman, she averaged almost 4 point and 3 rebounds per game. Finally, Junior Madison Adkins averaged 3.6 points per game.

KEY LOSSES – The Lady Warriors lost four seniors off of last years team. The top two leading scorers from a year ago are now gone. Leah Wells averaged 12.2 points per game and 7.8 rebounds. The teams second leading scorer has now graduated as Sylvia Ratliff averaged 6.4 points per game and 4.9 rebounds.

FINAL THOUGHTS – The Lady Warriors have a lot of questions entering the season. Last year the team only averaged 34.2 points per game. With the loss of Wells and Ratliff the Lady Warriors lost over 54% of their offense a year ago. The question is who will step up to fill in the scoring load for the Lady Warriors. We have no doubt that Coach Farmer will have his team ready for opening day.

The Warriors look to reload after making the regional tournament the past two seasons. Coach Brody Justice looks to replace a huge graduation class that propelled the Warriors to a 16-16 record a year ago. Unfortunately, the Warriors lost a heart-breaker in the first round of the regional tournament 65-62 to Pike County Central.

KEY PLAYERS RETURNING – The Warriors will rely on a couple seniors to provide the scoring punch and to make a run in the 59th District. Senior Braxton Stanley will be the teams leading returning scorer. Stanley averaged 10.8 points a game for Coach Justice’s team a year ago. Stanley a deadly shooter shot 42.2% behind the arc.

Another Senior Brad Howell is an extremely athletic guard who can make a big impact this season. A year ago he averaged 3.5 points per game.

Isaiah Adkins will be the cog that keeps this Warrior machine rolling, the super athletic forward that protects the rim and provides second chance opportunities. Also keep an eye on Gunnar Ward, Carter Damron and Zack Mason could all play key minutes for Coach Justice this season as well.

Finally, the future has arrived as Freshman Jackson Keene will see big minutes for East Ridge. Keene was the co- D&D Player of the Year as an 8th grader. We expect Keene to play big minutes for the Warriors this season.

KEY LOSSES – The Warriors lost 4 of their top 5 leading scorers from a year ago. Isaac Woods ran the show in 2021-2022 while averaging 14.8 points per game. A slashing play maker and excellent shooter, Woods also shot 42.3% from behind the arc.

Eli Sykes was the bruiser in the middle a year ago who averaged 12.8 points and 6.8 rebounds. Add in Eli Rose (9 PPG and 7.9 RPG) and Johnathan Mills (12 PPG and 5.6 RBG), the Warriors lost a lot of offense due to graduation.

FINAL THOUGHTS – Much like the girls team, the Warriors are looking for who will step and fill the scoring load vacated by last years class. The Warriors have the athletes to contend for a district championship, they will just need several players to perform to their potential.

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