Wood County Christian girls basketball young, growing

WILLIAMSTOWN — Despite an 0-3 start to the season, the Wood County Christian girls basketball team has a lot to be optimistic about this season.

The Wildcats, coached by A.G. Harris, have talent on their roster. One thing they don’t have on their roster are any seniors, so it’s a young team still developing. But Harris’ squad has been competitive in the early part of the season, losing by scores of 28-24, 32-30 and 38-33. As the team continues to grow throughout the season, they’re hoping the wins will start coming.

Wood County Christian lost six players from last season’s 6-15 squad, but returns six players who appeared in at least 13 varsity games a year ago.

Sidney Strause is the team’s top returning player. Through three games, Strause led the Wildcats with nine points per game, 10.5 rebounds per games, three steals per game and 1.5 blocks per game. A 5-foot-10 center, Strause starts at center and gives Wood County Christian experience in the paint.

Also playing in all 21 games last year was 5-4 guard Ellie Powell. Powell, a sophomore, averaged 3.1 steals and 1.2 assists per game last season. She’ll be a pivotal player in the Wildcats’ backcourt this season.

Alexis Shutts, a 5-4 junior, returns at forward after playing in 19 games last season.

Maggie Mason, a 5-3 sophomore, played 15 games last year and returns at guard.

Joyce McSherry, a junior, stands at 5-5 and returns at the forward position after playing in 14 games last year.

Sarah Michael, a 5-6 sophomore who played 13 games last year, is out with an injury until January. She can play guard and forward.

The Wildcats also have a trio of freshmen who could make an impact. Chloe Stump, a 5-2 guard, and Katie Michael, a 5-7 forward, both played in the first two games this season while 5-0 guard Lilly Ann Leslie is also on the roster.

Wood County Christian hasn’t scored many points this season, but its attack is balanced. After Strause, McSherry and Katie Michael have average five points per game while Shutts has scored 3.5 and Powell has added three. Katie Michael and McSherry are grabbing 6.5 and 5.5 rebounds per game, respectively.

If the Wildcats can improve on 30 percent shooting from the field, they could turn into a dangerous team and make a run in the West Virginia Christian Athletic Tournament at the end of the year.

Harris is assisted by Julie Dubbs and Craig McElhinny.

Roster

Head coach: A.G. Harris

Juniors

15 Alexis Shutts (5-4, F); 20 Sidney Strause (5-10, C); 32 Joyce McSherry (5-5, F)

Sophomores

13 Maggie Mason (5-3, G); 22 Sarah Michael (5-6, F/G); 24 Ellie Powell (5-4, G)

Freshmen

11 Chloe Stump (5-2, G); 25 Katie Michael (5-7, F); 42 Lilly Ann Leslie (5-0, G)

Schedule

Dec. 14: at Hoops Classic, noon

Dec. 18: Elk Valley, 7 p.m.

Dec. 20: at Hundred, 7 p.m.

Dec. 29: at Marieta Challenge, 12:15 p.m.

Jan. 4: at Teays Valley, 6 p.m.

Jan. 8: Wirt County, 6 p.m.

Jan. 11: Grace, 6 p.m.

Jan. 12: at Cross Lanes, 2 p.m.

Jan. 15: at Morgantown, 5:30 p.m.

Jan. 22: at Paden City, 7 p.m.

Jan. 25: Teays Valley, 6 p.m.

Jan. 28: at Ohio Valley, 5:30 p.m.

Jan. 29: East Richland, 5:30 p.m.

Feb. 1: at Grace, 6 p.m.

Feb. 5: Calvary, 5:30 p.m.

Feb. 8: at Wirt County, 6 p.m.

Feb. 11: Paden City, 7 p.m.

Feb. 14-16: WVCAT Tourney, TBD

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