Lady Chargers seeking improvement over 2-18 record last year

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 7, 2007

Jeffrey J. Zeigler/Correspondent/

ISLE OF WIGHT—The Isle of Wight Academy girls basketball team is one year more experienced and one year smarter under second year coach Chris Hooper.

After going 2-18 last year, Hooper feels like the Lady Chargers understand his system and have a more experienced core of players.

After breaking her wrist twice, Casey Mansfield, a junior guard, missed all of last season and IWA missed her scoring. She poured in an encouraging game-high 14 points in the team’s first outing.

“She is the stabilizer. She brings balance,” Hooper said about Mansfield. “The girls feel real comfortable with her on the court and she is a competitor.”

Jordan Edwards, a junior point guard is back as well

“I did not have a stable back court last year. They were really at the JV level,” Hooper said.

Hooper will count on Audrey Robbins, a 5-8 senior post player, to show leadership.

“She is a hustler and works extremely hard,” he said, “She is a leader. I can depend on her to give me her best.”

Also starting for IWA are Jen Hartley, a 5-9 junior, and Sylvia Robbins, a 5-7 sophomore.

“With those five out there, I have a pretty stable basketball team,” he said.

Although it looks as though IWA has some decent height this year, Hooper said his team is probably average or even below average compared to some teams in the tough Metro Conference.

The Lady Chargers will spread the floor on offense and use a lot of motion.

The team will use a variety of defenses, primary man-to-man.

Hooper said he will pack the defense in against teams that don’t shoot well from the outside.

Hooper said he wants his team to compete very hard this year after not having the confidence to do that last year.

“If this team went 10-10 this year, that would be a huge accomplishment,” he said. “That would get this program pointed in the right direction.”

Isle of Wight Academy was to open its home season against Stonebridge Academy last night.