JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The 2017-18 season is less than two weeks away for Carson-Newman. This is the final part of a two-part series breaking down the roster for the Lady Eagles with junior guard Haris Price.
Coach Mike Mincey needs to replace three players from a team that finished with 20 wins last season but one of the players is Kailyn Brooks, one of the team's top scorers over the last three years. The guard was a two-time all-league selection and finished her career with 1,198 points good for 11th in school history. As a senior, the Lafayette, Tenn. native converted 83 three-pointers to establish a new program record for a single season.
"We did lose a lot with Brooks," Price considered. "She was our leader – that was the person we looked to when things were hitting the wall. When we didn't know what to do she always brought us together. She led the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio. That's big shoes to fill."
After landing at Mossy Creek in 2016-17, Price played in all but one game averaging 21.6 minutes per game. The Lee transfer notched 56 steals and 1.93 average ranked fourth in the SAC leading the team in pilfers 16 times. With 83 assists, Price was second on the roster recording 15 outings with at least three.
"Last year I was completely new," Price said. "I was trying to learn our offense, the players and the coaches. This year it's working on my own game and trying to be the floor general out there. Knowing what Mincey wants and communicating with him helps me focus better on what I need to do."
One of the sparks to an offense that ranked sixth in the nation in scoring, Briana Smith (Nashville, Tenn.) finished third on the roster with a scoring output of 10.8. The junior finished third in the league in free-throw attempts (140), sixth in made foul shots (102) and seventh in free-throw percentage (72.9). Smith Scored 10 or more points 17 times including a career-high 21 points against Lincoln Memorial on Nov. 22, 2016.
The only remaining guard on the roster from a year ago is junior three-point specialist Ashton Wykle (Greeneville, Tenn.). She finished second on the team with 32 made triples on the year making 44 percent of her attempts.
Four newcomers join the Lady Eagles in two transfers and a pair of rookies. Mincey welcomes Kayla and Kecli Marosites (Elizabethton, Tenn.) to the Orange and Blue from East Tennessee State with three years of eligibility remaining.
Kayla is a two-Time TSSAA Class AA Miss Basketball with a state championship under her belt. As a senior, the guard averaged 22.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.9 steals per game. With the Buccaneers, she played in 23 games with her best effort coming against Winthrop on Nov. 20 scoring a career-high eight points along with five rebounds off the bench.
Kelci was a three-time All-Region, Conference and District player and helped her sister lead Elizabethton High School to a 52-game winning streak during their second and third seasons. She played in 21 games in Johnson City as a freshman registering a career-high 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field versus Western Carolina on Jan. 21.
Addison Byrd (Nashville, Tenn.) enters the fray after an illustrious career at Wilson Central High School. A first-team all-state pick, the guard averaged 14.7 points per game in her career hitting 52 percent of her shots 157 three-pointers, scoring 1,452 pts and hitting 79 percent from the line.
Rounding out the crop of talent, Madison Bunch (Morristown, Tenn.) brings athleticism after exceling in volleyball, basketball and track at Morristown East.
The season tips off Tuesday, Nov. 7 in Knoxville against the Tennessee Lady Volunteers in an exhibition game at Thompson-Boling Arena. All season, broadcast coverage begins 15 minutes prior to the opening tip on the Eagle Sports Network's flagship station Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live. Home contests will feature a high definition video stream on cneagles.com/live.
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