Given their start to the season, it appears they’re well on their way.
“Last year was definitely a rebuilding year and we’re still building the program, but our girls’ goal this year is to make the state tournament,” said fifth-year Chattahoochee head coach Haaris Quraishy. “That is our goal every year and our girls are up for the challenge [this year].”
Through eight games this season, Chattahoochee is 6-2 with a non-region win over Roswell (41-39) in early December and a region win over against Johns Creek (39-24) last week.
“Our region itself is so tough with so many good coaches and players. We have to compete every single night and make [the playoffs] happen for ourselves,” said Quraishy.
Thus far, Chattahoochee has made things happen with a trio of talented veterans — Cassidy Gaillard, Erin Morrow and Amari Carter — and a pair of promising freshman playing the majority of their minutes.
Gaillard, a 5-foot-11 forward, is well known for her three-point prowess and has added the ability to attack the basket to her game this season. Morrow, another forward that Quraishy said was his most versatile player, is used as a scorer and key defender. Carter, a point guard, is the Lady Cougars lock-down defender on the perimeter.
Freshman Aysia Key and Charity Starkes have stepped onto the court early and provided sparks of their own with senior Sierra Snead and sophomore Katie Hegabarth also providing depth to the Hooch roster.
Quraishy said his group has played well together to date, but will work to improve their consistency as a unit over the holiday break in order to get to a state playoff level by season’s end.
“We depend on a couple of freshmen who lack experience, and in order for us to be successful, we need to get contributions from them every single night,” he said.
“We do a good job of guarding the ball in the half court, but [on offense] we have to improve on being consistent day in and day out.”
Chattahoochee will play in a Christmas tournament at Gainesville High School next week before returning to region play at North Forsyth Jan. 4