- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Roane State women’s basketball coach Monica Boles talks fast about playing fast.
As she explains her coaching philosophy, her voice picks up steam. By the time she’s finished explaining how she wants her team to score on fast breaks and play aggressive defense, her intensity is obvious.
“I want our kids to play hard,” said Boles, who is in her first season as head coach. “Defensively, I like to make the opposing offense work. I like our defense to be so tenacious, the other team’s offense struggles to get into a rhythm.”
Boles, an assistant coach for four years, succeeds Todd Wright, now the head women’s basketball coach at Maryville College. The Raiderettes were 25-6 last season, the team’s second straight 20-win mark. Roane State opens the season at home Nov. 1 against Spartanburg Methodist (2 p.m.).
Boles said she will often use a three-guard lineup. All of her players can handle the ball, which is why, on a rebound, she wants “whoever gets the ball to turn and go.”
“I don’t see us as being a half-court team,” Boles said.
Boles said her top priority in the offseason has been conditioning, and her players have responded.
“They have a lot of heart,” she said. “They push themselves. We’ve got some who are regular gym rats. They just love the game. The desire is there.”
Boles, who is assisted by Johnny Jones and Tinisha Key, provided her outlook for each of the Raiderettes.
Brooke Barger, freshman, 5-6, guard, Oliver Springs High School, Oliver Springs: Barger can do “a little bit of everything,” Boles said. She penetrates to the basket, has good court vision, and shoots three-pointers well. “She sees a lot of things on the court that other people don’t,” Boles said.
Katie Butcher, sophomore, 5-7, guard, Greenback High School, Greenback: Butcher is a “very smart player” who is deceptively quick. Boles said Butcher’s quick hands can cause a lot of steals, and her three-point shooting “can be deadly.”
Morgan Byrge, freshman, 5-8, post, Oakdale High School, Oakdale: Byrge has good post moves to the basket, especially when she has her back to the goal. Boles said Byrge has a good jump shot that is improving.
Holli Daily, freshman, 5-4, guard, Jackson County High School, Gainesboro: Daily is “deceptively quick” and a good three-point shooter. “She has an amazingly quick first step and an uncanny ability to get to the basket,” Boles said.
Rochelle Davidson , freshman, 5-10, post, Cookeville High School, Cookeville: An excellent athlete, Davidson can “probably outrun a lot of our guards,” Boles said. “There is no quit in her.” Her ability to post up and her rebounding skills will be a huge asset to us this year,” Boles said. “She is much more physical than her size indicates.”
Robyn Foster, freshman, 5-4, guard, Coosa High School, Coosa, Ga.: A point guard, Foster is quick and smart with the basketball. “She sees the floor well,” Boles said. “She knows what needs to be done and how to do it.”
Heather George, freshman, 5-10, post, Morristown West High School, Morristown: George “can absolutely run,” Boles said. She is “lightning fast” with a good jump shot. Boles said George is working on improving her jump shot and developing her rebounding skills.
Taylor Hall, freshman, 5-8, guard, Mt. Juliet High School, Mt. Juliet: Hall is a “tremendous” three-point shooter, Boles said. “She can shoot the lights out, and she is a great passer,” Boles said. “Taylor is an extremely intelligent basketball player and is capable of making great plays.”
Abby Jackson, sophomore, 5-8, post, Beech High School, Hendersonville: A transfer from Motlow State, Jackson has a quick release on her jump shot. She played soccer in high school, Boles said, and has plenty of endurance.
Jada Ledbetter, sophomore, 5-10, post, Livingston Academy, Livingston: The main goal for Ledbetter, Boles said, is to get healthy. She has suffered a string of injuries, going back to high school. “Jada will be a force around the basket, and she is not afraid to mix it up,” Boles said.
Tiffany McCroskey, sophomore, 5-5, guard, Seymour High School, Kodak: McCroskey has a great three-point shot, Boles said, and has worked hard to develop her jump shot. “She will be a good outside threat for us,” Boles said.
Ashley Moss, sophomore, 5-7, guard, Morristown West High School, Morristown: Moss missed part of last year because of a knee injury. Boles said Moss makes good cuts to the basket and has a good three-point shot.
Paige Sevier, sophomore, 5-8, guard, Jackson County High School, Gainesboro: Sevier has “unlimited” shooting range and a knack for posting up bigger players on the blocks. “She can beat and bang with the best of them,” Boles said.
Lindsay Smith, freshman, 5-5, guard, Stone Memorial High School, Crossville: Smith “goes 110 mph all the time,” Boles said. “She is constantly full-speed.” Smith has a quick first step and a good jump shot.