KEY LOSSES: Jake Cline
KEY RETURNERS: Ethan Thomason, Chris Ross, Kendan Trent
The Mingo Central Miners had some success at times last season but struggled with consistency. After finishing 9-14 last season, the Miners are hoping to keep up the defensive intensity and improve their offensive output.
Gone is leading scorer Jake Cline, but the Miners hope to get more out of some returners like guard Ethan Thomason. Last season, Thomason averaged 8 points per game for Mingo Central. He’s a good shooter and will be relied on heavily in Mingo Central’s backcourt.
Sophomore Zander Phillips will see some minutes this season after improving on the JV team. He’s been working very hard on his strength and conditioning. Caden Porter averaged 4 points per game last season and should be a big help this year once he’s recovered from a hamstring injury. Khoner Bradford will also be relied on this season.
Kendan Trent returns and should play on the perimeter. He averaged 6 points and 3 rebounds last season and should see some increased production. Trent was also on the soccer team, and he is joined by another soccer teammate Brody Dotson. Elkins says that it has helped both players come into the season in great shape. Amanti Lovett and Colton Smith will provide some help down low.
Aidan Burke is a newcomer to the team and can play several different positions. Chris Ross returns after averaging 5 points and 4 rebounds per game last season. He is currently recovering from an injury but hopes to be ready to go in the not too distant future.
The Miners have been working hard and believe they’re going to surprise quite a few people. It all starts out on the defensive end of the floor for Mingo Central, and there should be no shortage of effort there. Look for the Miners to improve as the season progresses and be a challenge for every opponent they face.
KEY LOSSES: Madisyn Curry, Megan Adkins, Alyssa Davis
KEY RETURNERS: Addie Smith, Bella Hall, Dalaney Grimmett
The Mingo Central Lady Miners were one of the best teams in Class AA last season. Mingo Central went 19-4 last year but fell one game short of the state tournament. This year, head coach Kim Davis Smith is hoping that her squad will take the next step.
The Lady Miners will be led by all-state guard Addie Smith. Last season, Smith led the way with 20 points and 4 assists. Smith is one of the best players in the state and will give Mingo Central a player that most teams can’t match.
Bella Hall and Dalaney Grimmett will also play at guard this season. Grimmett fired in 6 points per game last season and Hall dropped in 4 points per game for the Lady Miners.
Gianna Akers and Jeanna Bradford will provide play in the post after gaining some experience last season. Freshman Jayden Bailey is about 6’0″ and will see significant playing time.
Madi Estepp, Kerissa Bradford and Eva Munroe should all see valuable playing time for the Lady Miners.
Smith is confident her squad can score points, but she said much of the playing time may be dictated by defense.
Last year’s team got a lot of experience against top notch competition in many unique and tough environments. Even with some losses, much of that team returns. Mingo Central should be poised for another great season. The Lady Miners will have a difficult schedule and play in a tough region once again, but they should be one of the top teams in Class AA and a contender for a state tournament run.
Photos Courtesy of Samantha Waine