Inexperience is among the 2012-13 team’s trademarks — talent is another.
“We’re in a rebuilding situation,” said Chamblee coach Paul Ireland. “We’ve got some girls who haven’t had had to do it at this level … if they step up, I think we should be pretty good.”
The Lady Bulldogs marched all the way to the Elite 8 before falling to eventual GHSA runner-up Southwest DeKalb last season.
Only one starter — senior shooting guard Auriana Broughton — returns from that team. She’ll be joined in the backcourt by junior point guard Candace Rhodes.
Senior forward Ashli Hodges, returning from an ACL injury, is the other sure thing in the starting rotation. The other two positions; however, are still up for grabs.
The green Lady Bulldogs have held their own thus far, pulling out close games over Mundy’s Mill and Jackson County.
Guard-heavy Chamblee will continue to look to employ and dictate offensive and defensive sets tailored to its make-up.
“We’ll be running a variety of motion-type offenses to try to utilize our guards — we probably won’t have a real strong post game,” Ireland explained. “Defensively, [opposing teams] are going to see a lot of man-to-man … we don’t have a whole lot of height.
“We’ll be quick and apply a lot of defensive pressure on teams. Hopefully I’ll be able to go about nine deep, keep a fresh body on the floor.”
Ireland’s game planning and program building have netted impressive results thus far. The Chamblee girls’ hoops program has seen steady progress with him at the helm.
Last season’s deep playoff run was preceded by a snake bitten season that saw the Lady Bulldogs reel get off to a 23-0 start. After three key players caught the flu, the team’s season ended in the first round of the region tourney.
Chamblee made the state playoffs the year before.
Don’t count out Ireland’s short, scrappy bunch to keep the party going.
“The competition is tough … but I think we’ll be one of the four teams to make the playoffs out of our region,” said Ireland.
at Banneker, Friday at 6 p.m.
home vs. Carver, Dec. 11 at 5:30 p.m.