Girls Varsity Basketball · The Lady Rams and Senior Leadership

A sports team is nothing without its leaders. In order to win games and climb the playoff bracket to the championship, it’s a must have. The Lady Rams varsity team returns six seniors this season and the expectations from the coaching staff are very high. While often times it’s a tough situation for upperclassmen who are on their third coaching change since they have been in high school to buy into a whole new vision and standard, this senior class is up for the challenges Head Coach Taylor is setting before them.

From left to right: Anyah Jones, Kiara Bagley, Izzy Simmons, Sahlena Harvey, Kari Gullick, Liana Betts

After experiencing a comparatively successful season posting a 14-10 record, the expectations for this year are exponentially higher. The Lady Rams are depending on the seniors to take ownership of their roles on the team. It’s their legacy that they are leaving behind and this class is capable of leaving a record breaking mark this 2019-20 season.

The Lady Rams returning seniors leading the charge are, Kiara Bagley, Sahlena Harvey, Kari Gullick, Liana Betts, Izzy Simmons and Anyah Jones. A dynamic and hard working group on and off the court, we are so excited about what each of them bring to the table.

Starting with senior guard Kiara Bagley, the teams leading scorer from last season is definitely an established sharp shooter knocking down the three point shot. The Lady Rams are depending on her to continue improving her overall game and becoming a true vocal leader. Challenged early this summer by Coach Taylor not to settle on her success from last season, Kiara has been hitting the gym harder than ever and has now set her sights on getting to the next level.

Next up we have senior point guard Sahlena Harvey. Under great pressure to be the coach on the floor, Sahlena is stepping up to the challenge early.  With the scrutiny from Coach Taylor, who was a stand out point guard during his career, Harvey is blossoming into a phenomenal leader and floor general. A crafty guard able to weave through defenders, get to the basket, drop dimes and knock down the three, Harvey is guaranteed to have her best season yet.

Senior Kari Gullick has transformed her body and mindset and is prepared to have a crazy season! She put in a tremendous amount of work this off season and is determined to reap the rewards of her efforts. The Heidelberg Women’s Basketball commit, has a consistent mid-range shot, is very strong and can get to the rim and finish with contact. Her dedication to the process is evident as she responds to the challenges the coaching staff are putting on her to improve on her ball handling, and defending on the perimeter. Poised to have her best year, look for Gullick to have plenty of double doubles this season.

Senior guard Anyah Jones has a nice outside shot and sneaky quick first step that allows her to get to the rim and finish. A great rebounding guard, the Lady Rams are looking for her to bring that toughness to every game. Also emerging as a vocal leader, Jones brings a very calming leadership presence to the team. She see’s the floor exceptionally well and always looks to make the right play. A solid and fundamental player for the team, look for Anyah to have a huge impact on the season.

Finally we have our blue collar workers. These are the kids who do all the little things that don’t show up on a highlight reel but are the essential keys to success. First we have senior guard Izzy Simmons who has a motor that does not quit. The super quick guard is all over the floor making things happen. Simmons is our go to lock down defender who can get a steal and finish at the other end at any moment. Just finishing her seasons in both tennis and cross country, the Lady Rams are looking for her to play a significant role in creating turnovers in our up-tempo style of play causing havoc every time she steps on the floor. Our final senior and blue collar player is Liana Betts. A strong and tenacious rebounder, the Lady Rams are very excited about how much she has improved in just a few months. Betts has a great ability to get to the right place for rebounds giving the team second and third opportunities.  The senior set the track and field program record in the discuss back in April and is no stranger to accomplishing anything she puts her mind to and we believe she is going to be a very important piece of the puzzle this year.

Coach Taylor on his senior class, “The measure of a leader is in the behavior of the follower. -Buzz Williams. I like this quote because I have given my seniors a new challenge, and this is not just in the game of basketball but in life. Our seniors are held to a standard of leading by example. Some are taken out of their comfort zone but for a long season each one of our 6 seniors will have to lead at some point. Leadership is imperative for long term success. Our seniors are up for the challenge and have been doing well putting this expectation into perspective.”

Each senior was challenged to choose a quote for the season to stand on and I think what they selected speaks volume to the caliber of young women the Lady Rams basketball team is fortunate to have leading the charge!

Kiara Bagley- “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”

Izzy Simmons- “If you don’t go hard in practice don’t expect the game to come easy.”

Liana Betts- “We’re taking on the growth mindset needed to cultivate success.”

Kari Gullick- “Create unselfishness as the most important team attribute.”

Anyah Jones- “We push each other to get better, we could never be as good alone as we are together.”

Sahlena Harvey- “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”

Let’s go Lady Rams!