Raven girls begin basketball season with new talent

The Rocky Ravens girls’ ball team is preparing for the upcoming 2012-13 season. Second year Head Coach Odis Gadson returns to a team that was 10-15 last year.

Coach Gadson is assisted by longtime coaches Troy Gaston and Rasheed Taylor. While this is Coach Gadson’s second year at Rocky River he was previously the head coach of the girls’ varsity team at Garinger High School for two years. Originally from Philadelphia, Coach Gadson played both football and basketball in high school in neighboring New Jersey and considers himself a student of the game.

This year’s squad

“We lost a lot of talent from last year,” Coach Gadson said. “Our leading scorer transferred out and we had some girls graduate who were significant contributors. At the same time, we have gained some new talent that I feel will really help this team. We now have four players from a Northridge Middle School team that went undefeated two years in a row. The sophomores- from that team are Hydeia Harvey and Simone Williams; and the fresh- men are Jordan Soares and Makayla Carter.”

The Ravens are going to be a young team with three seniors (Aliyah Hason, Kiara Smith, and Shikina Wilson) and two juniors (Keiaisa Irby and Shania Ross). The rest of the roster is filled out by Sophomores Carrie King and Jasmynn Keyes.

“Our youngsters are going to get coached up and see a lot of playing time,” Coach Gadson said.

Adaptability

Coach Gadson feels with this roster the team can play a number of different styles. “We think we will have the ability to adapt to whatever the other team tries to do. We can run some, we have some shooters, and we can also press when we need to. I really think this team’s potential is very high. It may take some time to gel, given our youth, but eventually I’m expecting some exciting results.”

Conference

“There are two teams at the top of our confer- ence,” Coach Gadson said. “Myers Park and Ardrey Kell are probably a little ahead of us, and everybody else right now. After them the rest of the conference is pretty close, so I feel we will compete well and maybe surprise some teams. We finished fourth last year and we can certainly move to third and possibly challenge at the top and be competitive.”

Overall

“What we lost from last year is that go-to player,” Coach Gadson explained. “Somebody that can take over a game and score when we need a basket, and somebody willing to take the big shot. We don’t have that player yet. What we do have is a team that is willing to play hard and once they gain experience they will start to see the results.”

Rocky River’s first game of the season is on the road at West Mecklenburg HS on Monday, November 26 at 5:30. The game will be followed by the boys’ basketball game.

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