MINERAL WELLS —
But “little sister” Kennedy is also a player. She is 5-11, aggressive, athletic, and not only can do all the things a good post can do inside, but can shoot threes and provide outstanding perimeter defense.
“There is so much potential in Kennedy,” Ed Shelstead said. “She is long, can move, and prior to Christmas break there were about five games in a row where she really stepped up and was attacking the basket.
“Kennedy is a shooter, but we have plenty of those on this team. What we didn’t have was someone who can attack the basket and finish. She attacks the basket well, and she is still working on finishing.
“So for us, her role is to be the irritating perimeter defender with long arms who also supplements our offense inside and outside. She does a lot of things for us. The sky is the limit for Kennedy.”
Shelstead feels Peña, Allen, Ragland and his daughter Kennedy play just as important of roles as “The Big Two” of Niya and Sydney.
“Kennedy, Courtney, Natalie and BB (Allen) may be the most important players on our team,” Shelstead said. “Important meaning when they play their roles, and they are effective at what I ask them to do, we are tough.
“Sydney and Niya are going to give what they have to give and it is pretty darn consistent – they both will get double figures in points each game and Niya can stretch the defense with her outside shooting which opens it up down low for Sydney.
“When that is going on the other four – BB, Natalie, Courtney and Kennedy – their play is magnified much more.
“If those four can see themselves as very important at this time, the sky is the limit THIS season for our team.”
Shelstead will only carry a roster of nine players into district play, and he only wants players who can help the varsity as role players. He has three such players in junior post Ashlynn Robinson, who was on varsity last year before a season-ending knee injury, and sophomore guards Pamela Hopkins and Riley Bullock.