Coach: Sean Dandridge
21-22 Record: 15-7
There’s good new and not-so-good news for the Lady Outlaws as they prepare to start the 2022 season. The good news is that four starters return off a team that went 15-7 last season. The not-so-good news is there are only seven on the roster which creates problems in games if someone gets into foul trouble and in practice where it’s hard to scrimmage. But despite that coach Sean Dandridge, now in his sixth year at Weleetka, is optimistic about the prospects. “We’ve got a good mix of guards and post players and shooting will be a big plus for us this year,” said Dandridge. Play in the paint will be anchored by Lillie Whitlow (5-9. Sr.) who led the team in rebounding last year. “Lillie always brings a positive nature with her, gives 100 percent on the floor and has been a good leader for us,” said Dandridge. The offense will be centered around guard Ambree Smith (5-4, Jr.).
“Ambree led us in scoring and steals last year. She’s got great defensive instincts and is a good ball handler,” said the Outlaws coach. Loryn Manley (5-9, So.) had a great freshman year in 2021 and was the second leading scorer and rebounder. “Loryn can play inside or outside. She has a good three-point shot but can also post up low and go to the basket,” said Dandridge. Saige Dandridge (5-1, So.) is the fourth returning starter and will man the point guard spot. “She is a good ball handler and is very fast. She improved her game a lot over the summer, and I think she’ll make a big jump in her game this year,” said the head coach. Dandridge has several players vying for the fifth starting spot in Riley Smith (5-5, So.), Addie Saylors (5-5, So.) and Charlee VanMeter (5-4, So.). “Riley is Ambree’s younger sister and came off the bench last year. She has a nose for the ball in either rebounding or on defense. Addie is just a hard worker who does everything right and will see a lot of playing time and Charlee’s outside shooting is improving and she’ll play post or forward,” said Dandridge. “Even though we’re short on depth, we’ll play an up-tempo offense and an in-your-face defense. I think we have better teamwork this year which should help us go farther in the playoffs.”