Starting and/or playing significantly for the North Little Rock Coach Daryl Fimple since they were freshmen, guard Amber Hawkison and guard/forward Yo’ Myris Morris are finally seniors.
The duo anchor a Lady Charging Wildcat team comprised of juniors who played significantly last year as sophomores. Additionally, three sophomores are expected to contribute this year.
“Sometimes (when I think about it) it is weird Amber and Yo are seniors because they have been playing for so long,” Fimple said. “Yo was 13 when she was a freshman, and she is just a 17-year-old senior. They have lots of experience.”
Morris signed with Texas Christian University earlier this year and Hawkison is also a college recruit mulling her choices.
Juniors Jordyn Neal, De’myla Brown and Kennady Tucker are the three seniors who either started or played every game last year. Fimple plans to play nine to 10 girls significantly and senior An’nyah Pettus and junior Tiona Mackey will help in that plan along with sophomores Ashanti Backus, Yasmin Ott and Adia Carnagie. Without much height but lots of speed and the ability to push the basketball, Fimple could start guards in all five positions.
“We are very versatile but not big,” Fimple said. “We are capable of shooting the 3 better so our spacing can be wider and higher. We have the makings of being a good team. We’ll just have to wait and see. Talent-wise, we are as talented as we have ever been.”
Currently, the Lady Wildcats are 3-0 and play in the Fayetteville tournament Thursday through Saturday. Fimple has yet to see his best five players together since last season. Morris had a stress fracture she nurtured over the summer, Tucker won’t be released until Dec. 13 from recovering from a stress fracture and Hawkison has been nursing an ankle sprain.
In years past by this time in the season, North Little Rock has played several games and been to a few tournaments. The Lady Wildcats’ success for several years in some tournaments has gotten them uninvited, and the schedule has been chopped up. Fimple says that has been good and has allowed the sophomores to get up to speed. Still they need to face game stuff and will with three games in the Bulldog Classic.
They face Mountain Home at 5:30 p.m. Thursday and depending on who wins could also meet Jonesboro and Fayetteville, who is the defending 7A champion and the team North Little Rock lost to last year in the finals.